Jurors See Video of Dogfight That Led to Brooklyn Murder Trial


Jurors witnessed footage in a Brooklyn courtroom recently of the dogfight that, prosecutors charge, led ex-con Daniel Pagan to stab a fellow dog owner to death.

Chai Eun Hillmann, 41, a bartender, and Pagan, 36, started arguing over whose dog was the best fighter after their dogs’ leashes got tangled outside the Branded Saloon, a country and Western bar in Prospect Heights, on Sept. 30, 2010. Footage from the bar surveillance camera showed Pagan repeatedly punching Hillmann in the face outside the Vanderbilt Ave. saloon – and then stabbing him several times in the chest.

Guitarist/waiter Daniel Hultquist also was slashed when he dashed outside the bar to help Hillmann. Hultquist dropped his guitar that he was playing when the argument started; he later was treated at Kings County Hospital and released.

Det. Stanly Reed who went to the hospital with them, described on the stand how bloody the victims were: “His (Hillmann’s) condition seemed really bad, he seemed in pain… the doctor later informed me that he passed away.”

On cross-examination the defendant’s lawyer tried to undermine Reed’s testimony by implying that the police officer had failed tproperly to collect and bag the victim’s and Pagan’s bloody clothing, possibly causing cross contamination. He also tried to discredit how the murder weapon was retrieved, but the detective insisted that his hands were gloved when he picked up the knife.

Bar patron Caroline Tremon, 38,  who works in the restaurant next door, also testified as an eyewitness to the fight. She said that first the dogs were playing and then they started to fight. She was not sure how the leashes came undone, but Pagan’s wife was attending to their dog.

When Hilmann got close to Pagan’s wife, Tremon testified that Pagan got angry and started repeatedly to scream, “Don’t touch my f***ing wife”  The witness said she then told the defendant, “Calm down, it’s no big deal; he did not touch your wife.” Then Pagan pulled a knife, the witness added.

The victim was a budding actor who had appeared on the television programs,”Law & Order” and  “White Collar.” He was also a martial arts expert.

Pagan, who served seven years in prison for shooting a man in the back in Brooklyn in 1991, was held without bail after his arraignment. His wife, Yvonne Walsh, ran from the courtroom in tears when Pagan was taken away.


Photo: Brooklyn Criminal Court. Source: nyc.gov


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