Kit Summers Not Guilty
After hearing testimony from Summers' alleged victim, Craig Essick, and from Summers himself, Kenney overturned the verdict of Linwood District Court Magistrate David Griffin, who declared Summers guilty of the two misdemeanors. Griffin dropped the more serious charge of terroristic threats brought against Summers by Trainer police last year.
The case stank from the very beginning and stank even worse when Griffin attempted to split the difference and find Summers guilty of the misdemeanors and not hold Summers for trial on the more serious charge.
At the preliminary hearing, Essick's testimony was contradictory, confused and basically unbelievable. He claimed that Summers had threatened to get a gun and shoot him. There was no evidence other than Essick's questionable word Summers ever said any such thing. (You can read all about it here.)
Griffin ordered Summers and Essick, who are neighbors, to attend community dispute settlement class. Summers went. Essick refused.
When Summers appealed his convictions to Media, Essick failed to appear to testify. Trainer police showed up but the case was postponed.
Tuesday, Essick appeared, but nobody from the Trainer police force did. Essick testified, then Summers told his story. After hearing from both men, Kenney found Summers not guilty of all charges.
Summers attorney, Ted Hoppe, said that Essick, 61, was no more believable this time around than he was at the preliminary hearing.
According to the neighbors I talked to last year, it was Essick who had been bullying Summers for weeks before Essick told his sad story to police. One neighbor witnessed Essick throw a rock at Summers from his property, hitting him in the chest. Other neighbors complained that Essick was the neighborhood bully, frequently getting into arguments with others who lived on the street.
Nevertheless, after Essick made his complaint to Trainer police, Summers was arrested, charged and held at Delaware County prison for almost a month pending a psychiatric evaluation, before he was released.
Summers suffered a traumatic brain injury after being hit by a car in 1982. The accident ended his professional juggling career but he continues to lecture and give motivational talks at schools and to any group that asks him. He also makes Summers' Salsa, which he sells at local markets.
Kit says he is considering legal claims against Essick, the Trainer Police and the county jail.