Trump supporter who pulled gun on Black Lives Matter activists claims self-defense
June 15 - The Trump supporter, who drew a gun in Manchester last spring when he and his father faced angry Black Lives Matter activists, was brought on trial Monday, claiming self-defense.
Mark Kimball, 20, faces three threatened crime charges in Manchester's Hillsborough County Superior Court.
Witnesses described a tense situation on Monday that broke out on Sept.
During a minute's silence, Kimball and his father drove by in a pickup truck with a Trump flag, witnesses said. His father blew the horn, screams began between the kimballs and the crowd, and finally both kimballs left the truck with guns in hand.
"They looked for trouble and found it," said J. Bradley Bolton, Hillsborough assistant prosecutor who is prosecuting the case.
Testimony began and ended on Monday, and the jury is expected to begin deliberations on Tuesday.
Kimball did not testify and the defense did not call any witnesses.
His lawyer Justin Shepherd from Nashua has put the case in self-defense.
"It wasn't a people or two. They certainly didn't approach the truck to make peace," Shepherd said at one point.
The Kimball arrests came when the state's largest city was nervous in the days after Floyd was killed by a police officer.
The rally at the police station was tense at times, the police said. More rallies followed in the days that followed, including an alleged riot in South Willow Street in which police arrested several demonstrators.
Before taking their seats, the jury had to answer questions whether their feelings about former President Trump, Black Lives Matter, the National Rifle Association, and Floyd's death could unfairly influence their deliberations.
Scott Kimball, 43, pleaded guilty to two criminal threats in February and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, probation and training in racial sensitivities.
Whenever Shepherd cross-examined witnesses, he focused on the safety of the kimballs. For example, police testified about the arrest and Shepherd then asked them when they would pull their gun in self-defense.
Manchester Police Officer Justin Breton testified that if 10 to 12 enemy people ran on him, hypothetically, he would draw his gun.
"At this point, yes," said Breton.
Police Sgt. Mike Lavalle said he feared for the safety of the kimballs as he passed protesters to get to their parked truck.
But Breton was concerned about what the kimballs might do and testified that he feared someone might get shot or run over.
"This person threatened everyone for bringing a gun to a Black Lives Matter rally," said Forrest Rapier, one of the people named as a victim on charges.
In closing arguments, Shepherd said that the Trump flag and the Confederate flag bumper sticker had nothing to do with the process. He emphasized the right to own and carry firearms and to defend oneself.
“Why do the police carry a gun? He was carrying a gun for exactly the same reason, ”Shepherd said.
But Bolton said the law doesn't allow anyone to provoke a fight and then use a weapon in self-defense. According to witness statements, Kimball used a racial slur when the truck drove by.
"That truck pulled up. That crowd didn't do anything," said Bolton. "He paused (a moment of silence). He excited it."
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