The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Cops, courts and fires

June 12, 2013

Trial begins for defendant accused of beating man with a bat

Nickson maintains the attack was in self-defense

ANDERSON — The trial started Tuesday for a man accused of beating another man with a bat in December 2012.

Kurnie Nickson, 32, of Indianapolis, watched on in Madison Circuit Court 3 as state prosecutors built their case against him on Tuesday with testimonies from police officers, witnesses and a doctor.

Nickson is charged with battery with a deadly weapon, a Class C felony, on allegations he attacked Louis E. Townsend Jr., 30, of Anderson on the night of Dec. 8, 2012, during an argument near Townsend’s home in the 1200 block of Indian Mound Road. Nickson, who admitted he beat Townsend with the bat, has maintained the attack was in self-defense because he believed Townsend was about to pull a gun.

According to the probable cause affidavit of the incident, Townsend and Nickson arranged a showdown after a headed text message exchange. Nickson’s ex-girlfriend, who was living with Townsend, tried to diffuse the argument but Larrie McMichel, Townsend’s cousin, used a bat to break out the windows on Nickson’s car. Nickson picked up the bat and when he perceived he was about to be attacked, started battering Townsend.

Townsend was airlifted to St. Vincent Indianapolis that night to be treated for serious head wounds. Dr. Doug Kaderabek, who treated Townsend, said the brain injuries could have been serious if Townsend had not been transported to a hospital. He described the injuries as multiple bone fractures to the face and blood pooling inside the skull. Townsend still has a scar from the incident.

Townsend’s girlfriend also testified Tuesday. Deputy prosecutor Steve Koester said he was pleased with the evidence the witnesses revealed and thought they came across as believable.

Nickson’s attorney Scott Webb said he plans to make the case for self-defense today, when both Townsend and Nickson are scheduled to testify. Webb said he’s also hoping for at least one other key witness to testify on behalf of Nickson.

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