A Criminal Court jury on Friday night found Michael Orlando Freeman guilty of attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault and attempted aggravated rape.
Prosecutor Matthew Rogers said he faces 8-12 years on the attempted murder and aggravated assault and 3-6 years on the attempted rape.
He said Freeman was on parole at the time for robbery and likely will have to serve that five-year term consecutive to the new convictions.
The jury was out four hours in the courtroom of Judge Rebecca Stern. She will set the sentence on Feb. 17. Their decision came after two days of testimony. The witnesses included the victim, Tammy Green, her mother, Rachel Green, and finally the defendant himself.
However, Ms. Green and Freeman gave very different stories; both prosecutor Rogers and defense attorney Mike Acuff implored the jury to use its reasoning and common sense.
While Ms. Green said that Freeman came into her apartment and attacked her, Freeman testified that he was going to her home to sell marijuana to one of her friends. He said there was another man there when he arrived; Ms. Green and her mother both said this was not true.
Freeman said they went in the bathroom so that Ms. Green’s child would not see them with drugs. He claimed that he walked in first, and immediately after that the other man hit him with a pistol in order to rob him. He said Ms. Green grabbed the knife first, and that her injuries were simply sustained in their fight for the knife. He claimed the knife did not belong to him and that it was in Ms. Green’s bathroom when he walked in.
Ms. Green’s injuries were shown to the jury on Thursday afternoon. She had a long gash across her neck and multiple stab wounds. Her thumbs had to be reattached and she spent two days in intensive care.
Freeman said, “I wasn't trying to cause harm toward her. I took the knife and swung it toward her." He told the court, “I never tried to rape Ms. Tammy Green. I never tried to kill her. I went there to try to sell some weed to her friend.”
No proof was shown that there actually was another man. Prosecutor Rogers called the man “a mystery man, a John Doe, a red herring.” He told the jury in his closing statement, “It doesn’t make sense because it’s not true.”
He pointed out that Ms. Green had become emotional during her testimony, struggling to even look at photos of the scene. He said, “You can’t fake that emotion, that sincerity. She thought she was going to die that day.”
In the closing statement of the defense, attorney Acuff said about Ms. Green, “She’s making this up as she goes along.” He said, “Something else happened, and her and her mother had to make adjustments on the fly. They had to explain away what really happened.”
He said it would be illogical for Freeman to force Ms. Green into the tiny bathroom if he were trying to have sex with her. He also said that since there was no blood on the back of the door, it was unlikely the door was shut.
Prosecutor Rogers disagreed, saying in his rebuttal, “That bathroom does not have room for him, her, and a ghost man.” He said, “There was no negotiating going on in that bathroom; she was begging for her life.”
Prosecutor Matthew Rogers with the defendant
- Photo2 by Hollie Webb