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Emotionally Charged Jack Didleys Trial Gets Underway This Week

Ben Ensign
(Courtesy of Justice for Ben Ensign facebook page)

It’s been one of the most controversial events in the Mid-Columbia over the last eight months.Jury selection was completed, and the trial began this week for a former security bouncer at Jack Didley’s nightclub in downtown Kennewick. Matthew Hibbard, who was the general manager at the club, also served as a bouncer.

Last July 4, Hibbard threw Ben Ensign out of the club after Ensign allegedly became belligerent and tried to return to the bar after being kicked out earlier in the evening. Hibbard was arrested and charged with third degree assault with aggravating circumstances after Ensign hit his head on the concrete sidewalk outside, sustaining significant head trauma.

Ensign, who spent months in the hospital, is one of a number of witnesses scheduled to testify this week in Benton County Court. Reportedly, a number of witnesses heard the sound of Ensign’s head hitting the pavement.

The defense claims Hibbard was defending himself when Ensign allegedly threw punches as Hibbard tried to remove him from the bar. The prosecution is expected to argue Hibbard knew his actions would severely hurt Ensign. Hibbard’s attorney said his client felt the only way to protect himself was to release Ensign and separate himself from the punches Ensign was throwing.

Surveillance videotape of the incident will play a major role in the trial, which is expected to last most of this week .

The incident became one of the most talked about news stories in the Tri-Cities, and generated tremendous amounts of emotionally charged comments on both sides of the issue.

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