Home #Hwoodtimes Court News: The Rebecca Grossman Trial Continues

Court News: The Rebecca Grossman Trial Continues

Attorney Tony Buzbee with Rebecca Grossman, daughter and husband, Dr. Peter Grossman

By THT Staff

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 2/12/24 – The prosecution has rested in the Rebecca Grossman court case and this week, it’s the defense’s turn to present evidence and witnesses. The Los Angeles philanthropist allegedly fatally struck Mark, 11, and Jacob, 8, Iskander, two young boys who were skating across the street in a crosswalk. She is being charged with two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and one count of hit-and-run driving resulting in death in connection with the collision.

Grossman has pleaded not guilty; her defense attorney, Tony Buzbee, believes that it was Scott Erickson, a former professional baseball player with whom she was dating, was driving in front of her, in a black Mercedes SUV.

It is up to the jury to determine whether Grossman– a woman who has won numerous humanitarian awards, including being recognized by the State of California as Woman of the Year– is guilty of second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter, and hit-and-run driving.

At the time of the accident, Grossman was separated from her husband, reconstructive surgeon and medical director of the Grossman Burn Center, Dr. Peter Grossman. The couple co-founded the Grossman Burn Foundation, launched in 2007.

Peter Grossman is adamant his wife did not willfully hurt the children, and strongly believes it was an accident.

In a statement provided on https://rebeccagrossmanfacts.site, he said: “Although separated at the time of the accident, Rebecca and I have always been best friends. Unfortunately, with regard to this case, the prosecution has released irrelevant information to bring her character into question. This is upsetting to all who know Rebecca personally and know that she is a good person, loving mother and a compassionate human being. Once the facts of the case are revealed, we believe that the truth will prevail. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Iskander family.”

Buzbee, who has handled some of the biggest cases in the U.S. for high-profile clients, like Jimmy Buffet, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and former Governor Rick Perry, is equally insistent that this was an accident.

“A traumatic and emotional incident has been turned into something it was not,” he asserted. Prosecutors say Grossman was driving as fast as 81 mph and traveled a quarter mile after slamming into the children before her car shut down.

Buzbee presented a surveillance video that the prosecution had attempted to keep out of the trial. The video was dissected by an expert forensic videographer, concluding that Grossman was traveling 51.9 mph, less than seven miles over the speed limit.

Buzbee wanted the courtroom to know that his client remains “heartbroken.”

“As a mother, Mrs. Grossman prays for protection and comfort for the Iskander family every day. This could have been anyone. She is not guilty of any of the accusations that were made against her.”

“The crosswalk at the accident site was on a blind curve. It was poorly marked, unguarded, and unlit,” he noted.

“Scott Erickson’s car hit those children outside the crosswalk, causing one to hit Grossman’s front right fender, in turn, falling to the right side of the road and one to vault and … seconds later, landing on the hood of Mrs. Grossman’s car. The forensic images indicate that her car was damaged from a hit coming down onto her hood,” on Mrs. Grossman’s car,” Buzbee said during the trial.

Also, a fog light was among the evidence debris documented and logged into the crime lab along with two different Mercedes emblems. It was said in court that Grossman’s vehicle does not have fog lights.

Back in 2021, the Simi Valley Acorn https://www.simivalleyacorn.com/articles/crosswalk-tragedy-family-files-suit/ talked about the second suit the Iskanders are involved with, against California, Caltrans, L.A. County and Westlake Village.

That suit alleges that the intersection where the boys were killed was “dangerously defective” and acted as a “trap” for pedestrians.

“There were inadequate and unsafe sight lines and sight distances for drivers traveling through the intersection (which) lacks traffic control or warning devices necessary to prevent the intersection from being a concealed trap for pedestrians. The rate of vehicle traffic, as well as pedestrian traffic, combined with the high-speed limit were of such a nature that the crosswalk should have not existed without traffic device enhancements to provide warning of pedestrians using the intersection.”

According to court records, Rebecca Grossman and Erickson met at nearby Julio’s Agave Grill earlier in the day, and were joined by retired baseball player Royce Clayton, who coaches baseball at a nearby high school.

Clayton testified that Erickson drank two margaritas and Grossman had one. Afterward, they agreed to meet at her home and watch the presidential debate, noting that she did not seem impaired when leaving the venue, as did the server, who also testified she served Grossman one margarita. Erickson’s receipts were shown as evidence.

Grossman is not charged with driving under the influence; it was stated in the courtroom that her blood alcohol level was under the legal limit and the trace amount of valium identified was said to be 4-6 days old, by the prosecution’s expert witness.

Clayton never got to Grossman’s house–he learned of the accident after speaking with Erickson by phone.

When Buzbee asked whether he was still friends with Erickson, he replied, “No, I have kids. I just don’t understand how he could be so negligent and be responsible for running down kids,” Clayton said.

“Erickson has denied his guilt and the prosecutors have not blamed him for the boys’ death. He was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving and the case was resolved in 2022.

It was said in court that Erickson left the scene and parked his car several blocks up the road and ran, hiding in the bushes and watching Grossman perform her field sobriety test. According to Buzbee, he never came forward and the Sheriffs never asked to inspect either of his two black Mercedes SUVs even after several eyewitnesses reported that they thought a black SUV hit the children first.”

Calling the case “negligently handled,” describing the accusation of Grossman to be “malicious prosecution,” Buzbee told jurors that various factors should be taken into account.

“She was not impaired, she was not racing, she was not going the speed that they claim, and she never fled the scene,” he said.

“The fact that so much evidence was concealed, destroyed or simply went missing early on, will clearly show that this case has never been about revealing what happened by the prosecution … and that is shameful, as it has only created more pain and suffering for the family of the children, and all involved.”

According to an article on Courthouse News Service, https://www.courthousenews.com/cop-testifies-socialite-said-her-husband-could-help-those-kids-after-fatal-hit-and-run/ Deputy Rafael Mejia was responsible for writing the fatal accident report. During his testimony, Buzbee asked him if he realized that there was someone picking up and moving evidence, during his investigation of the scene, to which he replied, “No.”

Mejia testified that they did not see any indication that another car was involved when they were looking at the collision debris; they only saw proof that suggested there was a white car, even though this information was in several reports taken by other officers and attached to his master traffic collision report.

And while his report did indicate one Mercedes emblem was found on the scene, another officer noted there were two emblems found. Recently, Buzbee uncovered the fact the two Mercedes emblems were actually missing from the evidence room.

While Grossman said that a female officer with a male partner were the first to arrive on scene, Mejia testified that he was the first to arrive alone and smelled alcohol on Grossman.

Mejia is one of the deputies who received photos from the Kobe Bryant crash site and made inconsistent statements surrounding that trial. While Buzbee had wanted to mention this to the jury, the judge denied that to occur.