Former police officer's excessive force trial delayed

The misdemeanor trial of a former Orlando Police officer is on hold until next week after a new witness surfaced Wednesday.  William Escobar is accused of punching and dragging a man who was already in handcuffs.

The announcement of a new defense witness was an unexpected development as a jury tries to decide if Escobar went too far when he used force in the arrest of Refus Holloway last year.  The defense maintains that Escobar’s actions were within the scope of the law, because Holloway resisted arrest.  The encounter was caught on cell phone video by Holloway’s sister. 

Defense attorney Mark Horwitz said the new witness’ name in open court, but he would not allude to the contents or her testimony or explain why she was added to the witness list after the trial began.  The trial is delayed, because attorneys need time to interview the new witness before she took the stand.  The judge must also accommodate the schedules of the jury who expected the misdemeanor case to last just a few days. 

The trial is expected to resume on Thursday, November 12, at 8:30 a.m.