Eric Freeman, on trial for his role in the beating and subsequent death of Jonathan Krystiniak, March 4, 2009
Updated: Thursday, 12 Mar 2009, 10:47 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 12 Mar 2009, 9:29 AM EDT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) - - The jury in the case against the only man sent to trial for the beating death of Jonathan "Jono" Krystiniak has asked the judge to define aiding and abetting.
Jurors also asked for several hundred pages of transcripts from witnesses testimony, medical records and other evidence, an indication that deliberations may take some time.
The legal term aiding and abetting is key to the prosecutions case against Eric Freeman.
He's charged with kicking Krystiniak in the head after another man's punch knocked him to the ground on the sidewalk near the former Margarita Grill near Van Andel arena in January of 2008.
Krystiniak, home on holiday break from college, died over a week later from his injuries.
The aiding and abetting element would tie Freeman to the crime, even though his kick may not have killed Krystiniak.
"Anyone intentionally assists someone else in committing a crime is as guilty as the person who directly commits it, and can be convicted of the crime as an aider and abettor," Judge Christopher Yates told jurors, quoting from the law.
The question the jury has to decide is did the prosecution prove Eric Freeman did something to directly assist with the crime.
"Even if Mr. Freeman knew that the alleged crime was being planned, or was being committed, the mere fact that he present when it was committed is not enough to prove that he assisted in committing it." Yates told jurors.
Freeman's attorney objected to the judge's explanations.
"The danger in that substitution is that they're looking to see how the court views this case. In doing that, you're doing their job for them," said Damian Nunzio.
Stay with Woodtv.com for the latest on jury deliberations.