BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- A slow-motion security camera details the turmoil outside a Kennewick nightclub last summer. It shows a drunken man tossed to the ground after he'd been kicked out of Jack Didley's once before.
The defense doesn't disagree Ben Ensign was tossed. In fact, it plans to use the same tape to prove self-defense by the man who tossed him.
That tape is at the center of the criminal case against the club's general manager. He's charged with assault for the harm done to Ben Ensign. Was it a crime?
Using video taken on that fateful night, prosecutors started laying out their assault case against Matthew Hibbard.
The nightclub manager is accused of roughing up a patron he was trying to remove from Jack Didley's bar.
The video itself may be the best spokesperson of what really happened that night. The camera captures the sidewalk outside the bar last 4th of July. There is no sound on the tape and it's taken at a slower speed so we sped it up just a bit.
You can see Matthew standing outside of the club here toward the street.
A few seconds later he rushes towards the door to help the other bouncers pull a drunken Ben Ensign out of the club. Ben had already been removed once and came back in.
Prosecutors pointed out how Matthew has Ben in a headlock while the other bouncer grabs his feet. At that point Ben is at least two feet off the ground.
Prosecutors believe this is where Ben throws his hands up in the air, like he's giving up. A few seconds later Ben's arms go limp as if he passed out from being choked.
It's then the state says you see him dropped to the ground, head first. Prosecutors believe Ben was purposely "thrust" to the ground.
Once on the ground, no one comes to help Ben. You don't see anyone calling 911.
Matthew Hibbard eventually makes his way towards the door. He's standing near the lower right corner of your screen.
Prior to this, friend Stephen Huang had gotten separated from Ben when they were all kicked out. In the video, Stephen shows back up and knows the situation is serious.
The woman kneeling at Ben's side is said to be a nurse. She's trying to help. After about ten minutes, the ambulance arrives.
You could hear a pin drop in the courtroom as the tape played. A few jurors glanced towards Matthew Hibbard, looking for his reaction. There was none.
Witness Joleigha Evans was at Jack Didley's on the 4th of July. She says she will never forget seeing Ben's head hit the sidewalk.
"Yeah, you could hear it. It sounded like a cinder block hitting the concrete. It was, words can't describe how bad it sounded," said witness Joleigha Evans.
The same video tape is expected to be played by the defense to show how Hibbard was simply trying to protect himself from a belligerent, violent patron. A jury will be the final judge of that.
Prosecutors no longer plan to call Ben Ensign as a witness.
The defense begins its case tomorrow.
By the afternoon the jury could begin deliberating on third degree assault with aggravating circumstances.