Ohio mom’s lawyer notes school brawl story changes

CINCINNATI (AP) — A 15-year-old Ohio girl testified Thursday that a woman egged on her daughter to fight the teenager at their school before the mother “jumped” her and got into the fray.

Taking the stand in the trial of Precious Allen on misdemeanor assault and trespassing charges, the teenager said Allen urged her 14-year-old daughter to fight and “we just started fighting.”

Soon after, she said, Allen started hitting her and “I knew I was being jumped.” The teenager said she then pursued Allen’s daughter from the classroom into a hallway to continue fighting with her, but the girl’s mother held her back.

“She grabbed me. She was pulling me,” she said. “She didn’t want me to fight her daughter again.”

Authorities accuse Allen of punching, kicking and holding down the 15-year-old girl as Allen’s daughter hit the girl in the face with a combination lock.

Prosecutor Eric Cook told jurors Allen “acted like a child” trying to settle the Feb. 7 dispute herself.

Allen, 31, has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has maintained that she went to Withrow High School only to withdraw her daughter from classes and collect her things. Allen’s daughter has admitted in juvenile court to misdemeanor assault.

Defense attorney Eric Deters told jurors in opening statements that Allen was just trying to protect her daughter. He has suggested the 15-year-old girl is a bully and implied that she pulled out her own hair after the fight and before a photo was taken of her to show bloody cuts under her left eye.

Thursday, two teenagers who witnessed and tried to break up the fight painted Allen and her daughter as the instigators. One testified that Allen hit the 15-year-old first; the other said Allen’s daughter started the hitting.

But under cross-examination, Deters pointed out that statements the two gave police after the brawl said the 15-year-old hit Allen first, saying she “mugged” the woman by shoving her head back with an open hand; one of them also wrote that the fight could have been avoided “if the mother didn’t get mugged.”

Earlier in the day, Deters grilled a teacher who was in the classroom during the brawl. Kim Kilby said she couldn’t see the fight with students surrounding the two girls and Allen, but did see the 15-year-old get up from the floor, appearing shaken and slightly bleeding from cuts on her face. Kilby said the girl then ran out of the classroom “still trying to fight.”

Deters has questioned how surveillance video that captured part of the fight wasn’t preserved, and suggested it was deleted intentionally because it showed that the alleged victim was the aggressor.

Greg Baker, who oversees school security and surveillance equipment, said Thursday that he didn’t know what happened to the video but that the system wouldn’t allow someone to delete it.


Follow Amanda Lee Myers on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaLeeAP

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