Crime

Man in kidnap trial acts as own lawyer

Roger Hausmann stood in a Fresno courtroom Monday and grilled the girl who said he took her and her friend on a marijuana-smoking cruise around Fresno last year and threatened to kill them.

Hausmann, a 66-year-old Fresno man, doesn't have a lawyer to argue on his behalf against charges that he kidnapped the girls — his neighbor Marlena Henson and her friend, Patricia Conley. He didn't want a lawyer.

Instead, the former repo man turned jailhouse lawyer is acting as his own attorney. Appearing in Fresno County Superior Court, Hausmann wore a red jumpsuit with the word "prisoner" on the back.

Henson said she was 16 when Hausmann bought marijuana for her and Conley, then 17, and then took them on a joy ride in January 2005 in his van with tinted windows. She said she asked to be dropped off at her house. But Hausmann hit the two girls and refused to let them leave his van, Henson said.

"He kept telling me I was going to die," she said.

The jurors and the judge listened patiently while Hausmann questioned Henson — though prosecutor Dennis Lewis had plenty of objections.

"You're saying I reached out and struck you?" Hausmann asked Henson, raising his voice slightly. "Ms. Henson, you know me better than that."

Lewis jumped in before Henson could answer: "Objection, your honor."

The judge told Hausmann to rephrase his question.

"I wasn't struck from behind first?" Hausmann asked his former neighbor. "So I just reached out and hit you?"

"Yes," Henson said.

Hausmann persisted: "You don't recall blood streaming down my face from cuts on my head?"

This time the judge interrupted: "You're assuming facts that aren't in evidence."

Hausmann sighed loudly.

Later, Hausmann, who was arrested in his central Fresno apartment four days after the alleged kidnapping, questioned two Fresno police officers who took the stand to testify they had to shoot Hausmann with a Taser after he resisted arrest.

Hausmann said he was assaulted by the police.

"Did you see me get stomped in the face and my nose broken, my glasses broken, my eye blackened?" he asked officer Keith Dooms.

"No," Dooms said.

"To your knowledge, I just laid down after four shots with a Taser and no one touched me after that?" Hausmann asked.

Dooms said officers had to struggle with Hausmann but didn't beat him up.

That explanation didn't seem to satisfy Hausmann. He later asked detective Ron Flores, who shot Hausmann with the Taser gun, whether the stun gun's darts are "heat-seeking or something."

Besides kidnapping and resisting arrest charges, Hausmann is accused of battery, making criminal threats and providing marijuana to juveniles. If convicted, he could face up to 26 years in prison.

He is expected to call himself as a witness later this week. A judge said Monday that Hausmann will simply read a statement as his testimony instead of having to question himself.

Hausmann's lengthy criminal history includes a 2001 conviction for child abduction and a string of traffic, assault and firearm violations. He is considered by police to be a "person of interest" in some unsolved Fresno murders.

Hausmann said in court last week that he was being unfairly victimized by Fresno police who have rushed to condemn him because he is a "Jewish Christian who just happens to have kids by a black woman."

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