David Dodd 10:32 a.m., May 25
Trial Begins For Husband Accused of Bombing Wife
In an odd twist, a prosecutor spent some minutes demonstrating for jurors how to create a pipe bomb, during his opening statements in an attempted-murder trial this morning in San Diego’s East County Superior Courthouse.
Deputy District Attorney Kurt Mechals described the bomb parts and then put them together, in the first day of trial for Lawrence Gerald Hoagland, 50, who is accused of almost killing his wife on September 23, 2010.
Connie Hoagland took the witness box today and recalled the afternoon that she got in her truck and started the ignition and then a “BOOM!” almost tore her feet off. After seven surgeries and much painful rehabilitation work, she said she felt lucky to be able to walk into the courtroom today.
The prosecutor described financial trouble in the Hoagland family and Connie Hoagland confirmed they had started bankruptcy proceedings in 2010, as well as a $300,000 insurance policy that would have paid out to her husband upon her death. Connie also confirmed that her husband only admitted his secret affair with an old high-school sweetheart on the East Coast after Connie survived the bomb blast and was in hospital.
Public defender Thomas Palmer told the jury that defendant Lawrence Hoagland will take the witness stand to assure them he had no involvement in the attack on his wife.