Mottlau brothers testify against Capotes in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Mottlau brothers testify against Capotes in Steamboat

Third day of testimony in assault case continues this afternoon

Zach Fridell

— Under cross-examination this morning, Michael Wesley Mottlau bristled at questions about how much he had to drink the night of Jan. 1, 2009, when he went out with his brother Timothy Mottlau and a person he described as his best friend, Richard Lopez.

David and Eduardo Capote are on trial for assault in an altercation that led to Lopez's death.

Michael Mottlau said that on their last night in town before the three men returned to their military posts, he, his brother and Lopez went to three local bars, ending at the Tap House Sports Grill.

As defense attorney George Brauchler asked Michael Mottlau to describe what he had to drink the night of the incident, Mottlau described sharing a pitcher of beer with his friends and having three other drinks. But Mottlau also said he didn't agree with Brauchler that it was fair for defense to continue to question how much he had to drink that night.

"I believe me, my little brother Tim and Rich were the victims that night," he said.

Michael Mottlau recounted again the incidents of the night, adding detail to the reported argument at the Tap House. He said that he and his friends didn't have any dollar bills, so they put in $5 for several song selections, including a Jimmy Buffett song. The group at another table began heckling them about the song choices, making comments that the Mottlaus were homosexual.

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When asked whether his consumption of alcohol affected his ability to recall events from the night, Michael Mottlau said no, it did not.

Just before lunch, Timothy Mottlau also took the stand and testified to many of the same incidents, tears welling up in his eyes as he described checking Lopez's vital signs after he was on the pavement.

Timothy Mottlau also said that one of the men in the Capote group took off his shirt, flexing in the street, after the fight.

Testimony in the case resumes at 1 p.m.

β€”To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com