Defense attorney objects to conduct

Andrew Tellijohn

Jurors in the trial of Louis Cardona “Butch” Buggs heard medical testimony and saw diagrams of Kami Talley’s bullet wounds and autopsy results Wednesday. But the real fireworks didn’t start until the jury was released for the day.
At that time, defense attorney John Lucas angrily requested a mistrial. He complained to Judge Peter Albrecht that prosecutors were building a case against Buggs based on hearsay. He also said prosecutor Judith Hawley goaded him into objecting to her inappropriate line of questioning a witness.
Lucas said he was forced to repeat objections to her questions, which made him look as though he was hiding something from the jury.
Slamming a book about courtroom procedure on the table, he said: “What (the jury has) gotten is a shocking display by this prosecutor. I am asking this court to take a stand.”
Hawley apologized to Lucas and the court but said a mistrial wasn’t necessary.
Judge H. Peter Albrecht cleared the courtroom before hearing the mistrial argument, and said he wanted to handle issues of misconduct on behalf of the attorneys behind closed doors. “It wasn’t the sort of thing I wanted to handle in public,” he said. He denied the request.
At Lucas’ request, Albrecht plans to make a statement to the jury about what happened when the trial reopens this morning.
Earlier, jurors heard testimony from medical personnel who were on duty at Hennepin County Medical Center the day Buggs allegedly shot Talley.
Buggs is accused of killing Talley on Valentine’s Day last year at her work in northeast Minneapolis. Talley was discovered laying inside the door of an upstairs restroom of Electric Wire Products Corp.
Dr. Eric Gage, an emergency medic for Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville, completed his residency at Hennepin County Medical Center. As a senior resident, he often was the first person to care for critically injured patients. He was on duty when Talley was brought to the hospital.
Dr. Gage said Talley was terrified and breathing hard, but cognizant of what was going on around her.
“She seemed to be understanding me fully,” he said. “She was trying to speak but all that came out was whispers.”
He said at the first glance, she had six wounds in her abdomen, two in her thigh and one in her arm.
“I never saw anybody shot so many times,” he testified. “She looked like she was in front of a machine gun.”
His job was to prepare her for surgery by giving her a drug to calm her and putting a tube in her airway to take over the breathing process.
Once that was completed, she was transported to the operating room for an abdominal observation. That procedure was performed by Dr. Susan Seatter, a staff surgeon who was a hospital resident at the time of the incident.
She testified that when Talley was opened up for exploration, massive bleeding was discovered as she anticipated. Though she tried to repair the damage, many organs were destroyed completely.
“We began, because you have to start somewhere, with the kidney on the right-hand side,” she said.
In the process of removing her spleen, Seatter discovered that Talley’s pulse and blood pressure had disappeared.
“The heart was not damaged, but was not beating,” she said.
Soon after that discovery, Talley was pronounced dead.
Seatter added that the extensive injuries made saving Talley’s life a difficult task from the start.
“The damage is cumulative,” she said. “People die of single gunshot wounds to that area of the abdomen. With multiple gunshot wounds, it was my suspicion that we would find devastating, if not lethal, injuries.”
Albrecht said today that prosecutors might show jurors a video of the crime scene. In addition, detectives will continue to testify about the investigation.
If Buggs is convicted, he would face a sentence of life in prison with no option of parole.