A teenage witness in the Rebecca Grossman murder trial gave a dramatic account of the “war zone” scene at the crosswalk where she found traumatized mother Nancy Iskander screaming and the tragic sight of shoes belonging to one of his two fatally injured children scattered on the ground. path.
Dorsa Khoedami, who was 16 when Jacob, 8, and Mark Iskander, 11, died in the horrific crash, told jurors Thursday that she had just finished playing tennis when she “heard a very loud noise that was very alarming” and then a Second loud bang, followed by screams.
“I told my mom, let’s go,” he said, and after calling 911, he began running toward the nearby marked crosswalk in Westlake Village, where he found a distraught, barefoot Nancy Iskander with a pair of shoes lying nearby.
The murder trial of Rebecca Grossman (pictured Wednesday) heard testimony from a teenage witness, a schoolmate of her daughter Alexis (right), who was at the scene of the horrific 2020 crash.
Mark (left) and Jacob Iskander, aged 11 and 8 respectively, died in the horrific accident on September 29, 2020. On Thursday, witness Dorsa Khoedami recalled finding their ‘screaming’ mother, Nancy, (right) in the place.
The teen told the court she began running toward the nearby marked crosswalk in Westlake Village (pictured), where she found a distraught, barefoot Nancy Iskander and a pair of shoes lying nearby.
Thinking they were Nancy’s shoes, he said he went to pick them up to tell the mother she should put them on, he told the jury.
“Nancy kept screaming and said, ‘Those are my son’s shoes,'” he said.
Later, said Khoedami, a schoolmate of Grossman’s daughter Alexis, her mother, a doctor, “described the accident scene as a war zone.”
Grossman, 60, who was wearing black pants, a beige blouse and a black cardigan with a white rose print in Van Nuys court on Thursday, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the tragic deaths of the Iskander brothers in September 2020.
The wealthy socialite faces a maximum sentence of 34 years to life in prison if convicted of the murders and is also charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and one count of hit-and-run resulting in death.
She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Grossman, founder with her husband, prominent plastic surgeon Peter Grossman, of the Grossman Burn Foundation, has been free on $2 million bail since her arrest more than three years ago.
While prosecutors insist it was Grossman’s car that hit and killed the children, her defense team claims it was the black van driven by her then-boyfriend, former professional baseball player Scott Erickson, 56, with who had been drinking margaritas earlier. Who had the fault?
Prosecutors say Grossman was racing with his lover at 81 mph in a 45 mph zone when his white Mercedes SUV struck and killed the children.
Grossman has pleaded not guilty to all charges, but faces a maximum of 34 years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors allege that Grossman had been racing with his lover, baseball player Scott Erickson, 56, before the crash. Erickson won a World Series with the 1991 Minnesota Twins and went on to play for five other MLB teams.
Erickson, who was romantically involved with Grossman during a separation from her husband, was allegedly “racing” with her as she drove his black SUV through the crosswalk where the Iskanders were walking, seconds before Grossman’s car.
He was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving and his case was resolved in February 2022 when a judge ordered him to make a public service announcement to high school students about the importance of safe driving.
In court Thursday, Grossman’s defense team tried to persuade Judge Joseph Brandolino to allow them to recreate in the courtroom the two airbags deploying as they had done in Grossman’s Mercedes SUV at the time the children were beaten.
Prosecutors quickly objected, telling the judge, “We don’t need to introduce airbags and break them up in the courtroom” and asking him to instead order a video demonstration.
After hearing from airbag and seatbelt expert William Broadhead that when an airbag deploys, “it is incredibly loud and explosive, like setting off a cherry bomb,” the judge ruled out the idea of a demonstration in the courtroom and said jurors could watch a video instead.
Nancy Iskander was crossing the street with the brothers and their youngest son, Zachary, 5, when they were hit. Nancy and her husband leave court on February 6.
Grossman has pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the hit-and-run deaths of Jacob, 8, and Mark Iskander, 11, in a Westlake Village crosswalk.
But he did say yes to a court demonstration of the ‘seatbelt pretensioner’ that tightens seatbelts in the event of an accident.
Like airbags, it also triggers a controlled explosive device to deploy, but it is a much smaller charge.
In the case, even the seat belt pretensioner was banned from the courtroom by the Los Angeles sheriff who, Judge Brandolino said, “doesn’t want pyrotechnics in the courthouse.”
Broadhead told the court that Grossman’s car had a total of five “pyrotechnic devices”: two for each airbag and one for the seatbelt pretensioner.
When they ring, he said, “They stun.” You do not know what to do. You don’t know if it’s a bomb or a sniper… you jump out of your skin.’
In the case of Grossman’s accident, Broadhead said he would not be able to distinguish between a pedestrian impact and airbag deployment.
“It’s very violent and extremely loud. It dazes and confuses you if you don’t know you’ve had an accident.
He added that the airbags in Grossman’s Mercedes SUV “are supposed to deploy next in the event of a collision with a pedestrian.”