Torture & kidnapping defendant testifies at trial

One of the defendants in the Ishpeming torture and kidnapping case took the stand Monday morning. As ABC 10 senior reporter Mike Hoey reports, he explained that on July 2nd of last year, he met the alleged victims outside an Ishpeming bar.

Jason Sadowski testified that the alleged victims asked him if he had any marijuana. As a licensed medical marijuana provider, he did. After bringing them to his mixed martial arts gym, where he also lived, he smoked marijuana with one of them and drank rum and Cokes with both of them. Sadowski said one of the women later took him aside to tell him something.

“She goes, ‘I don’t know how to tell you — you’ve been really nice to us — but we’ve been stealing from you the whole time we’ve been here,” Sadowski said.

Sadowski said the victims eventually gave him $122, about half of the money he believed was missing. He also had marijuana and jewelry missing. Sadowski said the women followed him willingly into the basement and that after they did, he asked Charles Cope to do him a favor.

“I wanted to go check my office to go see if I could find any money that was up there, so I said (to Cope), ‘hey, will you just entertain them and keep talking to them and see if they’ll give the money back?”, Sadowski said.

Sadowski testified that the two women were duct-taped to support posts in the basement while he was upstairs in his office. Cope was in the basement at the time. Sadowski said he did not see Cope restrain them.

On cross-examination, Sadowski said he discussed the testimony of his ex-wife, Sara Pietro, with her after she took the stand. Pietro is under a sequestration order and cannot be present in the courtroom during other people’s testimony.

“I told her that, when she testified, she said she testified as best she remembered,” Sadowski said. “I said that I remember her crossing the threshold and going in there (into the basement). That was what we discussed.”

“And you also told her, ‘I told you, you needed to say that you went in there’,” Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese said. “You told her that, didn’t you?”

“No, I don’t recall saying that at all,” Sadowski said.

The first time the Ishpeming Police asked Sadowski at the scene about the basement, he said, “That’s not my basement”.

Wiese said, “You were asked, ‘who’s in the basement?’, and you said, ‘there’s nobody in the basement’, correct?”

“Correct,” Sadowski said.

Wiese asked, “And then, thirdly, you say, ‘that’s not mine’, correct?”

“Correct,” Sadowski said.

Wiese also asked, “So you knew who was in the basement when you were asked that question, correct?”

“Yes, I did know,” Sadowski said.

The jury is expected to begin deliberation sometime on Tuesday.