MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Testimony got underway Wednesday morning in the trial of a man accused of attacking a Miami-Dade police detective with a cinder block.
Michael Robertson, 36, is charged with attempted first degree murder carjacking.
In their opening statement, the prosecutor told the jury it was a miracle that Miami-Dade undercover Detective Carlos Castillo was still alive.
There were a number of dramatic images from the first day of testimony. Prosecutor Rebecca DiMeglio showed jurors a piece of the cinder block from the crime scene that had been dropped on Castillo’s head.
Castillo, the first witness called to the stand, at one point opened his shirt to show the jury a scar from his surgery.
“I have a scar from my chest line down to my stomach,” Castillo told the panel.
He then unbuttoned his shirt sleeve to show another long scar on his right arm from surgeries to repair bones that control movements of his hand.
“Unfortunately I can only turn my arm like this,” said Castillo. “This is as far as I can turn it. To turn on the ignition of my truck sometimes I can only use my left hand. I don’t have enough strength to turn the key.”
On April 23rd, 2010, Castillo went to serve an outstanding arrest warrant for Robertson who had served prison time for grand theft and armed burglary.
When officers pulled him over in the driveway of his grandmother’s house on 71st Street in Liberty City, he took off running. Castillo remained at the SUV, along with Robertson’s pregnant girlfriend and two young children. Police believe Robertson ran around the block, climbed a set of stairs to a landing about ten feet above where Castillo was standing and dropped a 30-pound cinder block on Castillo from above.
Robertson then jumped down from the landing and reportedly kicked Castillo in the head repeatedly, before he stole the officer’s car and ran over him twice.
Castillo severe injuries included ten broken ribs, broken bones in his arms and brain trauma.
During Wednesday’s proceeding the jury was shown a barrage of photos including Castillo’s battered police badge and how he looked after the attack.
“I know, based on my barber cutting my hair, that I have a dent on the side of my head,” said Castillo.
He added that he doesn’t remember the attack, just the aftermath.
“Waking up in a room, just people standing around,” Castillo told the jury. “Everything in my body was delayed. My vision. I was able to see but everything was delayed. I had vertigo. I leaned back and the room started spinning.”
While Castillo now works with video surveillance in homeland security type duties, he said he still loved being a cop.
Prosecutors plan to introduce into evidence Robertson’s fingerprints and DNA which were found in Castillo’s car blocks away from where he was attacked. Robertson’s defense counters that his DNA and fingerprints were not found at the crime scene.
Prosecutors also reportedly have a witness who will testify that Robertson was the man who attacked Castillo.
Defense attorney Charles White told CBS4′s Peter D’Oench that he was not sure if he would allow Robertson to testify and was not sure how many witnesses he would call.