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Witness testimony continues

By Staff | May 6, 2009

More witnesses and a co-defendant from Kemar Johnston’s birthday party, which led to the beating, torture and double-murder of Jeffery and Alexis Sosa, have
taken the witness stand to tell their accounts of what happened.
Today is day two of trial for Roderick Washington, who is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, kidnaping and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He faces life in prison if convicted in the 2006 slayings.
So far testimony has revealed between 30 to 50 individuals were at the party, drinking and doing drugs such as marijuana, Xanax and ecstacy.
William Arciszewski, who produced the ?Cash Feenz? gangster rap group several of the defendants were a part of, told the jury he went to the bathroom when a fight ensued between the Sosas and others at the party.
The fight began over some threatening phone messages Alexis Sosa had left to several of the party-goers.
“?I don’?t know what it entailed but it fired everybody up,”? Arciszewski said. “?The entire atmosphere changed, you could feel it in the air. I feared everybody. They all had guns and I didn?’t. They were all acting crazy. I think (Johnston) snapped.?”
Arciszewski recalled hearing screaming and pleading from the Sosas, and witnessing some of the torture from the living room.
Washington, he said, was holding a rifle on the Sosas.
After the Sosas were taken from the house, co-defendant Kenneth ?Ant? Lopez returned to the Cape Coral industrial park where the Sosas’? bodies were and
burned their car, Arciszewski testified.
“?The reason I know this is because (Lopez) came back crying,”? he said. “?He said, ?I can’?t believe I did that.??”
Co-defendant Michael Balint is on the stand. He will receive a 14-year prison sentence in exchange for his testimony as part of the state?s case against his
He is wearing an orange Lee County Jail jumpsuit, unbuttoned at the top.
Balint described how he had visited Johnston’?s home to purchase marijuana but stayed to celebrate Johnston?s birthday and drink alcohol.
Balint testified that he tied up the Sosas at Johnston’?s threats.
“?He told me worse things could happen,”? Balint said. ?“I could have been down there with them.?”
The trial will likely continue until 5 p.m. today.