37 / 23
      34 / 28
      32 / 29

      Trial begins for men charged in kidnapping and torture case


      The trial is underway for two Ishpeming men charged with torture and unlawful imprisonment of two women. Jason Sadowski, 43 years old, and 66-year-old Charles Leroy Cope are being tried together in Marquette County Circuit Court. They are accused of tying the women up in the basement of Sadowski's martial arts studio last July.

      In opening statements, the prosecution explained the victims met Sadowski at Hickey's bar and left with him to see his MMA studio and purchase marijuana. After learning the women stole money from him, Sadowski took them to the basement and duct taped them to the posts.

      On the stand, one of the victims said Sadowski beat them.

      "He grabbed me by the head and smashed my head. Well, my face is what hit the pole, but he grabbed me by my hair to do it. At that point I heard (the other woman) scream. She was yelling he put a cigarette out on her," said alleged victim.

      However, Sadowski's defense attorney, Timothy Quinnell, said that didn't happen. He says the women got in an altercation about giving back the money.

      "A fight upstairs in Jason's room--they locked up, tasseled, hair pulling, scratching," said Quinnell.

      Quinnell also said Sadowski later found the women tied with duct tape in the basement with Charles Cope. However, while one of the victims was on the stand, she emphasized Sadowski tied them up and was the aggressor the whole time.

      "That we were going to learn our lesson...When he came up to me and choked me the first time, I threw up. And he was screaming at me not to throw up on the floor or he was going to beat me. So, I puked on myself," the alleged victim said.

      She also said Charles Cope, who was sleeping in the basement, had two different demeanors while they were held against their will.

      Cope's attorney says Cope went along with Sadowski, but when Sadowski was gone, he tried to calm them down.

      "When he told Cope to get duct tape, he did. When he told Mr. Cope to watch them, he did. But as soon as Mr. Sadowski left the room, Mr. Cope tried to pacify. Tried to keep the situation calm. Tried to keep it from getting into something; all three of them were going to die," said Karl Numinen, Cope's attorney.

      The victim stated Cope didn't do any physical harm to them.

      The trial continues Wednesday morning when the prosecution calls more witnesses.


      Opening statements began on Tuesday afternoon in the trial of two men charged in a kidnapping and torture case.

      Jason Sadowski and Charles Cope were in court on Tuesday in Marquette as the prosecution and two defense attorneys read opening statements to the jury.

      Charles Cope's attorney claims that he felt threatened if he didn't comply with Sadowski's instructions, but Sadowski attorney claims none of this happened and that the women involved fought among themselves.

      The prosecution claims that both men were involved in the incident resulting in the kidnapping and torture of the two women.

      The first witness was expected to take the stand late Tuesday afternoon. TV6's Jennifer Perez was in court and will have updates on your TV6 Early News at 6 p.m.