The defense put on a series of witnesses today, testifying for Michael LaMotte of Bridgeport, on trial for the murder of his wife.
Despite their insistence that he is a peaceful man, some disturbing facts came to light.
James Brubach of Bridgeport said he parked at LaMotte’s house briefly last September to walk in the woods, scouting for deer.
He says LaMotte was there but unresponsive.
“I saw Mike lying face down on the concrete and he wasn’t moving,” said Brubach.
He said he started to go over to him, but LaMotte’s wife indicated he shouldn’t.
Then LaMotte’s older brother, Andrew, took the stand.
He testified that Michael was a peaceful person, a “flower child” compared to the other three brothers.
“You could say we were more aggressive, more outspoken,” said Andrew LaMotte, referring to himself and his other two brothers. “But Michael? No. No.”
Yet under cross-examination, he acknowledged that his brother had problems.
“I knew what he was going through the last few years, as far as alcohol and drugs he was on,” he noted. “I knew. I was there for him.”
He also admitted that he wasn’t aware that Michael’s wife Beverly had called Belmont County Adult Protective Services, saying she was afraid of her husband, not long before she was murdered.
LaMotte’s life-long friend, Michael Price, described him as “honest, laid back, just a pure good guy.”
He said he often visited the LaMottes and had dinner at their home.
But under cross examination, he recalled a disturbing night at their house, just a week or two before Mrs. LaMotte was shot three times and killed.
“Mike was kind of drunk that day,” Price recalled. “And he had just gotten out of the hospital for some kind of heart problem. And I went down there and he was drunk. It kind of upset me because, you know, I just kind of thought he was doing the wrong thing because the doctor had just told him he had a bad heart.”
Price said he was so upset, he left.
And a woman who worked with LaMotte at Northwood Health Systems described him as a good man.