A witness who was given immunity from prosecution for his testimony says a member of the Iron Coffin Motorcycle Club, Matthew Starkweather, who is accused of killing a fellow club member, did not have a weapon during the incident.
Starkweather, 32, a.k.a “Hazmat,” is charged with the Jan. 1 killing of Leroy Taylor, 45 during a party at the club near Kalamazoo, MI. District Court Judge Frank Line reviewed evidence in the case to decide if the case will be sent to trial.
A second club member, John Lindahl, is also charged in the case.
A pathologist said Taylor died from several blows to the head which caused the victim brain damage and resulted in swelling and bleeding inside his skull. Dr. John Bechinski said his investigation concluded that Taylor had been struck several times with a weapon. According to witnesses, Starkweather punched Taylor and knocked him down. Starkweather told authorities that he was himself stabbed in the neck during the confrontation. Starkweather said he was attacked with a dagger which came from Taylor’s belt buckle.
Baroso toldl the court that Starkweather and Taylor had been alternately scuffling and talking for two or three hours. Baroso testified that Lindahl asked him to get a shotgun from behind the bar, but denied knowing what Lindahl did with the weapon. He said when Lindahl came back with the shotgun, Lindahl told Baroso to wipe it down and added, “I hit him too hard.”
Baroso was given immunity for his testimony in exchange for weapons charges being dropped.