A Baltimore trial that got national attention because of its eerie similarity to the Trayvon Martin case concluded yesterday with the judge issuing a bench verdict that convicted one of two white brothers for beating up a black teen and exonerated the other brother.
The brothers, Eliyahu and Avi Werdesheim, age 24 and 22, were doing neighborhood patrol for their Jewish community in Baltimore when they set upon a 15-year-old black teen, Corey Ausby, in 2010 because they said he looked suspicious. They were charged with false imprisonment, second-degree assault and carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure for beating the boy and holding him on the ground.
Judge Pamela White convicted Eliyahu of the false imprisonment and second-degree assault charges. Avi was ruled not guilty on all three charges. The brothers claimed they acted in self-defense when Ausby attacked them with a wooden plank with a nail sticking out, but the judge didn’t believe the brothers’ version of events.
Eliyahu’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 27. The assault conviction could bring a maximum of 10 years in prison, while the sentence for false imprisonment is up to the discretion of Judge White. The brothers opted for a bench trial because they believed they would be hurt in a jury trial by the publicity surrounding Trayvon Martin’s murder in Florida.