The fate of a man charged with assaulting a young father in Eastern Market now rests with the jury.
Tommy Branch, 22, faces numerous counts stemming from a string of assaults and robberies last summer. The most serious relates the beating of Thomas "T.C." Maslin. Maslin was left with severe brain damage as a result of the assault.
When Maslin didn't return home from a Washington Nationals game on Aug. 18, his wife, Abby Maslin, panicked. She testified that she went into shock and was racked with fear. When she saw two charges on her husband's credit card from a gas station, she knew something was very wrong.
Abby said she frantically called friends, hoping for a logical explanation. Her worst fears were realized when a friend, a doctor at Washington Hospital Center, called to say her husband was undergoing emergency surgery.
T.C., 29, was found unresponsive outside a home on North Carolina Avenue after he was viciously attacked and robbed of his credit card and cell phone. In closing arguments, the prosecutor said even though a staggering T.C. pleaded with his attackers to take what he had, Branch went after him with a baseball bat.
During the trial, Abby told the jury what the young family's life is like now. She gave up her career to care for her husband, who still struggles to speak and comprehend words. T.C. also has limited use of his right arm and hand and walks with a limp. She said her husband called her on the night of the attack to ask whether he should come home early, because their son, Jack, was sick. She said she told him no; he rarely went out, and she didn't want to ruin his evening.
Seventeen-year-old Sunny Kutti and 18-year-old Michael Moore were also charged with Maslin's assault.
Jury deliberations will continue Wednesday.