By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — The trial started Tuesday for one of three teens accused of beating another teen with a baseball bat in an act of gang-related violence in June 2012.
Donovan Ball, 19, watched as eight witnesses for the prosecution testified that Ball and two other teens beat then 15-year-old Sergio Torres in the head with a bat. A ninth witness, David Rivera, another of the trio allegedly involved in the attack, refused to be sworn in and was held in contempt of court.
Ball faces charges of attempted murder, a Class A felony, and criminal gang activity for his alleged role in the attack. Rivera, 18, pleaded guilty to the same charges in January. The third defendant, Ruben Rosales-Mezar, 19, was found guilty by jury in February and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
According to a probable cause affidavit of the incident, Torres was found June 27, 2012, beaten and bloody in the 600 block of East 27th Street. The teen suffered extensive head injuries but was able to provide police with critical details about the attack, including information about his assailants.
During testimony heard Tuesday in Judge Thomas Newman's Madison Circuit Court 3, prosecutors Rosemary Khoury and Steve Koester constructed the timeline leading up to the attack. Witnesses described a meeting between the trio and how the three got into a brown van and drove toward Torres.
Police testimony indicated Ball was the only one of the three attackers Torres positively identified in police interviews.
The attack was confirmed by several witnesses to be gang related, with the three attackers purportedly connected to the Chicago Latin Kings gang syndicate, and Torres connected with Surenos 13 of Florida. Rivera and Rosales-Mezar are originally from Chicago. Ball is from Anderson. It is believed the attack was retribution against Torres and other Surenos 13 members who had been harassing Rosales-Mezar.
During the trial for Rosales-Mezar in February, Ball was subpoenaed to testify by prosecutors but refused and was escorted out of court. About a dozen of Ball's family and friends watched in court Tuesday. Ball's mother, who was present at both trials, has said she doesn't believe Ball is involved in the gang and that he didn't participate in the attack.
Ball's attorney, David Alger, said Tuesday that he doesn't comment about ongoing trials.
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