October 20, 2004
Witness Tells of Boy's Death: Probation Promised for Testimony vs.
An adult who
attended the tough-love boot camp where a teen died in 2001, painted
a grim picture of the boy's death for the jury in the murder trial
of Charles Long.
Long, 59, is
charged with second-degree murder in the death of A.H.,
14, a camper attending Long's America's Buffalo Soldiers
Re-Enactor's Association "summer endurance camp" near Buckeye in
June and July 2001.
pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in A.H.' death, and was
promised a sentence of probation if he testified in Long's trial.
But Hutty, 32,
had difficulty remembering many details, and in his testy responses
to the prosecutor's questions, reinforced the defense's argument
that Long was not with A.H. as he was dying nor when other
allegations of abuse took place.
began Oct. 6 before Judge Ronald S. Reinstein of Maricopa County
Superior Court and is expected to continue through most of November.
Hutty flew to
Phoenix from his home in Pennsylvania to testify. During his
testimony Monday and Tuesday, he said that he and his two children
attended Long's camp as a vacation and so that his children could
learn about Buffalo Soldiers, African-Americans who fought in
military campaigns against Mexicans and Native Americans in the late
19th century West. Long's association re-enacts those battles.
Many of the
other children, who ranged in age from 7 to 18, had been in trouble
with the law or with their families.
was an overweight boy taking medication for attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder. On July 1, 2001, Hutty said, A.H. began
acting erratic while sitting in the sun in a "drop on request" or DOR line, because he wanted to leave the camp.
that A.H. ate dirt and refused to drink or wash out his mouth with
"He had dirt in
his mouth and dirt in his teeth," Hutty said. "I tried to give him
water to rinse it out."
Then A.H. ran
around the campsite "screaming and making a bunch of crazy sounds"
and doing what Hutty called "Three Stooges antics," striking others,
hitting himself in the face and smearing dirt on himself.
later appeared to go into convulsions, Hutty claimed he went to put
a pen in the child's mouth to keep him from swallowing his tongue.
"He cracked a
smile as if he was just playing around," Hutty told the court.
Hutty, Long then told Hutty to take A.H. and four other boys to a
nearby hotel to shower. They carried A.H. to a pickup truck and
placed him in the bed, then carried him up to the room. He was now
unresponsive and started vomiting dirt and stones in the room. Hutty
and the boys undressed him and placed him in the shower.
checked on him, the shower drain had clogged with the vomit, though
he claimed that A.H.' face was above water. Then he said he used
his foot to put pressure on the boy's stomach to force out more dirt
Hutty said that
he didn't call police because, as a Black man from Philadelphia, he
didn't trust them.
"I'm a product
of my own environment," he said, "and police are not looked upon
favorably, and I didn't want to end up pretty much where I am now."
called Long, who told him to bring the boy back to camp.
When he got
there, A.H.' pupils were dilated, and Hutty and Long began
performing CPR, but A.H. died.