Victim of Ariz. bombing gives emotional testimony

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Posted: Feb 01, 2012 7:57 PM
Victim of Ariz. bombing gives emotional testimony

The victim of a 2004 Arizona bombing believed to be racially motivated took to the witness stand in federal court in Phoenix for the first time Wednesday, describing for jurors the chaos that erupted and unbearable pain he felt after he opened the bomb.

Don Logan, who was Scottsdale's diversity director at the time, choked up as he described the terrifying moments when the bomb went off.

He said he remembers running frantically down a hallway before kneeling down and then hearing a secretary scream and looking down at his bloodied arm and hand.

"I realized the sleeve of my jacket to the inseam had literally split," Logan said. "Then I saw blood running down my arm and onto the carpet."

Dennis and Daniel Mahon, the 61-year-old white supremacist brothers accused of sending him the bomb because Logan is black, sat quietly and watched as Logan re-enacted opening the bomb for jurors. They have pleaded not guilty.

Logan's mother also was in court, putting her head down and crying while her son testified. Logan himself teared up as he continued describing the moments leading up to and after the bomb went off in Scottsdale's diversity office.

He told jurors that when a co-worker brought him a box addressed to him, he thought it was a gift because the return address said the package was from the Arizona State Retirement System, of which he's a member.

He also re-enacted how he used scissors to cut one side of the package open, turned it 90 degrees to cut another side and then cut it down the middle before sticking his hand inside.

"I heard a pop that sounded like a gunshot and everything slowed down," said Logan, who said the next thing he remembers is feeling unbearable pain, the lights going out, the room filling with smoke and debris falling from the ceiling.

He then ran from the room thinking he should get as far away from the package as possible before he realized the extent of his injuries. Logan was hospitalized for three days and needed four surgeries to remove shrapnel from his arm and hand, do a skin graft on his severely damaged forearm and restore some use to one of his fingers that nearly had to be amputated.

Logan, 54, now works as a diversity administrator in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale and has attended almost every day of the trial since it began Jan. 11. Defense attorneys are expected to cross-examine him on Friday.

Also Wednesday, prosecutors showed jurors photos of Logan's injuries. The gruesome images showed blood covering his arm and hand, and the deep wounds to his forearm.

Jurors also listened to a voicemail that Dennis Mahon left at the diversity office five months before the bombing.

"The white Aryan resistance is growing in Scottsdale," Dennis Mahon said angrily. "There's a few white people who are standing up."

Although the brothers are from Illinois, they were living in the Phoenix area at the time of the bombing.

Prosecutors have told jurors that the brothers belonged to the White Aryan Resistance, a group that encourages members to act as "lone wolves" and commit violence against non-whites and the government to get their message across.

Defense attorneys have argued that someone working for the city of Scottsdale was the likelier culprit, saying that Logan's job often didn't make him very well-liked.

They have also attacked the use of a civilian who acted as a government informant in the case, spending about four-and-a-half years getting close to the brothers using her good looks and acting like a government separatist and white supremacist.

The defense has painted the woman as a temptress who led Dennis Mahon to believe that she would have sex with him and possibly have his children so that he would admit to the crime.

Prosecutors say the woman flirted with the Mahons but never had sex with them, and that surveillance recordings taken during their interactions prove that the Mahons are guilty.

The recordings captured the Mahons repeatedly using racial slurs for black people and pointing out the bombing site to the informant while they were in Scottsdale under a ruse that she had to pay a speeding ticket. They also recorded Dennis Mahon saying that violence was the only answer for white men and threatening to target the U.S. electrical power system during the coldest part of winter or the hottest part of summer.

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