HOLLIDAYSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY - The defense took over in the second day of trial for Duane Eichenlaub. Eichenlaub is accused of beating up Earl Eshelman in the bathroom at Pellegrine's Lounge in Altoona Memorial Day weekend 2010.
The defense called three witnesses Wednesday morning and rested. Eichenlaub's wife took the stand first and talked about Herman Lardieri putting his hand up her dress which started the initial conflict. The other off duty Altoona Police officer that was in the bathroom Eric Kriner also testified. He has already pleaded guilty for Simple Assault for hitting Lardieri and a Hindering Prosecution charge for allegedly trying to cover up the incident. He testified that Earl Eshelman grabbed Eichenlaub from behind and by the neck while he was breaking up the fight. He says Eichenlaub only hit him four or five times. And he testified that he never specifically told anyone to keep their names out of the reports.
Duane Eichenlaub gave a similar story. He says he was grabbed from behind in a choke hold while he was fighting with Lardieri for assaulting his wife. He says he felt his life was in danger and he responded by punching Eshelman no more than four times and he stopped when he realized Eshelman was no longer a threat, He says he never looked back at Eshelman but he did not believe at the time that his injuries were serious. He also testified that he feels horrible that Eshelman's injuries turned out to be severe, but he responded the only way he could when he felt his life was being threatened.
The defense rested and the lawyers will give their closing arguments Wednesday afternoon.