Jurors Heard From Ramadan Abdullah

April 2, 2008 8:43:22 PM PDT
Jurors heard from an accused cop killer for the first time Wednesday.Ramadan Abdullah is charged with killing Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Telen in August 2001. He's not taking the stand, but prosecutors played a video of the first time detectives questioned him. That video could cut both ways, because the defense is trying to prove that Abdullah wasn't of his right mind when he killed the deputy.

This is the first time jurors have heard from the man who killed Deputy Erik Telen, a videotape of him under questioning from Detective Joseph Amador.

"Why would you want to take someone's life?" Amador asked. "I didn't mean to take anybody's life," said Abdullah.

A standoff almost seven years ago between Abdullah and two deputies ended in a shootout. Sgt. Joe Rascon testified about trying to get Telen out, right in the middle of the shootout.

"I was firing with one hand. As I was firing, I was able to grab his leg. I believe it was his right leg," said Rascon. "I was able to grab his leg and as I was firing, I was jerking him back."

Fellow deputies and county firefighters rushed Telen away from the scene as the shootout continued. A few hours later, Abdullah didn't seem to remember much of what he did. He went silent and often said "I don't know" under questioning.

Detective Amador asked him, "Why did you shoot the officers out there?"
"I don't know," said Abdullah.
"You don't know why you shot at them?" asked Amador.
"No," Abdullah replied.
"Were you mad?" Amador asked.
"No," said Abdullah.

Abdullah also talked about his psychological treatment and seemed disoriented at times. But he was able to answer most of the detective's questions and never denied killing the deputy. Prosecutors plan to wrap up their case Thursday with Telen's former partner taking the stand. The defense will take over next week. Several psychologists are on their witness list.


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