Ex-wife of torture & kidnapping suspect testifies in his trial

Jason Sadowski’s and Charles Cope’s torture and kidnapping trial is on a break for the weekend. As ABC 10 senior reporter Mike Hoey explains, the ex-wife of one of the defendants spent much of Friday on the witness stand.

Sara Pietro frequently visited her ex-husband, Jason Sadowski, at his mixed martial arts studio. The alleged incident took place there. In fact, police found a loaded Smith & Wesson handgun belonging to Pietro in the building on Sadowski’s bed.

Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese asked Pietro, “Do you have it registered?” “I don’t,” she replied. “And how was it that your gun ended up under the pillow of Jason Sadowski’s bed?”, Wiese asked. Pietro said, “I had brought the gun back and forth with me because there was a gentleman upstairs that I didn’t care for. So, if I was at the gym alone, I wanted to make sure I had something to protect myself with.”

There have been no allegations that the gun was used against the two alleged victims, or that there were threats to use it.

Pietro testified that when she and Sadowski went into the basement of the Martial Way studio together early in the morning on July 2nd, 2013, she saw the two alleged victims. She claimed they were not restrained at that time. Pietro also said her ex-husband asked her if she recognized the two alleged victims, and she told him ‘no’.

“Did you know at the time why he was asking you that?”, Judge Jennifer Mazzuchi said to Pietro in the process of relaying questions from the jury. “I did not,” Pietro said. Judge Mazzuchi asked, “When he asked you if you knew the women, had he prefaced that by telling you anything?” Pietro answered, “No. He asked me that, I viewed the women, and when I came back…he just had said he had missing money.”

The Bell Hospital emergency room physician that the alleged victims saw the morning of the incident testified Friday afternoon.

“Would there be something to expect, like a voice change or swallowing problems, if there was a complaint of strangulation?”, Sadowski’s defense attorney Timothy Quinnell asked. “Those are potential signs of injury found in strangulation, yes,” Dr. Lyle Vanderschaaf said. “And as I understand, in your report there is no indication of that?”, Quinnell asked. “Correct,” Dr. Vanderschaaf said.

Both women reported numerous injuries and told Dr. Vanderschaaf they had been bound with duct tape.

“That’s what I want to get at,” Wiese said. “So, the ligature markings on the wrist could be from an object wrapped around the wrist?” “Correct,” Dr. Vanderschaaf said.

The trial will resume at 8:15 Monday morning.