Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Jesse James Hollywood testified on Tuesday, claiming that he did not order the murder of Woodland Hills' teen Nicholas Markowitz who he and two friends kidnapped off the street nine years ago. Hollywood stated that the decision to snatch Nicholas Markowitz was an impulsive one that he regretted.
If you are tuning in for the first time, Hollywood is accused in the murder of Nicholas Markowitz, who was found shot and buried in a shallow ditch in Goleta, California. Markowitz is believed to have been kidnapped because his older brother, Ben Markowitz owed Hollywood drug money. This case was the inspiration for the 2007 movie "Alpha Dog", where Emile Hirsch played a character based on Jesse James Hollywood. The movie also hosted an all-star cast: Justin Timberlake, Shawn Hatosy, Ben Foster, Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, Anton Yelchin, along with Sharon Stone and Bruce Willis.
"I just feel terrible about everything that happened," Hollywood said under examination by his attorney James Blatt. "I feel terrible for the Markowitz family. I feel terrible that anyone would think I could do something like that." Hollywood, now 29, said he was scared of Ben Markowitz, who he claims left him threatening messages, poisoned his dog and broke a window. Hollywood stated that there was "no purpose or plan" when he took Nicholas Markowitz, he just wanted to find Ben Markowitz to settle the debt.
Over a two day period, Nicholas was taken to various locations in California and introduced to people before he was shot by gunman Ryan Hoyt, now on Death Row. Nicholas' body was found by hikers in Goleta. Hollywood testified that he smoked marijuana and played video games with Nicholas while they held him captive.
Prosecutors argue that Hollywood, after learning he could face life in prison for kidnapping, chose to get rid of the teen. We will see over the next couple weeks how the trial plays out. It is important to remember that when this crime was committed Nicholas Markowitz was 15, Ben Markowitz was 22, and Jesse James Hollywood was 20 -- three young lives radically impacted by the world of illegal drugs and addiction.
I encourage you to leave a comment about your thoughts on the trial of Jesse James Hollywood.