Assault trial begins for Matthew Hibbard

Assault trial begins for Matthew Hibbard »Play Video
BENTON COUNTY, Wash. - The assault case against the general manager of Jack Didley's nightclub got underway today.

Matthew Hibbard also worked as a bouncer at the downtown Kennewick bar.

A jury will determine if Hibbard committed a crime when he tossed a drunken Ben Ensign out of the bar last Fourth of July.

The prosecution believes Hibbard knew he would severely hurt Ensign with his actions.

The defense argues the security tapes will prove the bouncer was only defending himself when a belligerent Ensign began throwing punches.

John Jensen, attorney for Hibbard, said, "Because of the hold he has into Mr. Ensign, he cannot protect himself. He believes his only option is to separate from Mr. Ensign to be able to block any blows."

Prosecutor Andy Miller said, "The sound of Ben's head hitting the concrete pavement was heard from witnesses many feet away."

Ben Ensign spent months in the hospital and a rehab unit due to his head injuries.

The trial is expected to wrap before the end of the week.