The John Hirko Jr. trial resumes this week with closing arguments. Here are more glimpses of the trial:
One person who doesn't want to see the marathon John Hirko Jr. trial end is Gerald Nomie.
He's the owner of the Downtown Cafe on Hamilton Street, Allentown, a block from the courthouse. Because of the trial, his business and that of other nearby restaurants is booming.
''I'm making out like a bandit,'' Nomie said, noting that his business has increased by about 20 percent.
Each morning at the judge's request, Nomie, 59, brings coffee and tea to the courthouse for the jury. At noon, lawyers, litigants and spectators from the trial pour into his restaurant for sandwiches and soup. And throughout the day, people from the trial stop by for coffee and snacks.
They are taking a break from the trial in which three Bethlehem police officers and the city are charged with wrongful death and civil rights violations in the shooting death of Hirko during a 1997 drug raid at his south Bethlehem home.
Nomie, a friendly guy who chats with his customers, stays neutral when he talks about the case because he's worried that he'll alienate one side or the other.
''I don't think it's businesslike for me to take sides,'' he said. ''It's bad for business.''
Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. And in the fourth month of the trial, that old adage might explain the behavior one afternoon of a juror who may have been expressing his frustration at how long the case is taking.
As U.S. District Judge James Knoll Gardner was dismissing the jurors for the day, he forgot to tell them what time to return the next morning. Some jurors reminded him.
''Oh, show up whenever,'' Gardner said, prompting laughter.
That's when the juror closest to the door ran from the courtroom and didn't return, also drawing laughter.
The next morning, all jurors were present and accounted for at the scheduled time.
As Groundhog Day approached, this line was circulating in the courthouse:
Gardner emerged from his chambers one day, saw his shadow and declared there'd be six more weeks of the trial.
For more than an hour, Dr. Michael Baden had faced aggressive cross-examination, perhaps more intense cross-examination than any other witness had endured since the trial started.
Three times, Gardner felt the need to tell lawyer John Karoly Jr. that he must let Baden finish his answers.
Then in response to a question, Baden asked Karoly to come forward for a demonstration of how Hirko had been shot, including the shots in his back. He wanted to use Karoly as the mock victim. Witnesses commonly use the lawyer questioning them to help with demonstrations.
That's when Baden, a well-known forensic pathologist and expert witness, allowed his years of frustration with lawyers to show.
Said Baden, ''I'm always willing to shoot a lawyer in the back.''
One quality of a good expert witness is to make technical information easy to understand. Experts do that partly by drawing parallels to well-known news events.
The Kennedy assassination was so appropriate it came up twice, including once during Baden's testimony. He used it to explain whether Hirko could have continued pointing a gun at police after his arm was injured.
Because the Kennedy assassination was captured on film, forensic experts have been able to learn from it. Amateur movie-maker Abraham Zapruder was filming the president's motorcade with his 8 mm camera.
In what's become known as the Zapruder film, Texas Gov. John Connally was shown riding with Kennedy when shots rang out. A bullet struck Connally's right wrist, but he managed to hold onto his hat.
Baden used that example to support his testimony that Hirko might have been able to hold onto a handgun if he were armed even after being shot several times in the right arm.
But Karoly challenged that assertion.
''We would agree that no matter how big Gov. Connally's hat was, it wasn't the weight of a fully loaded handgun, correct?'' Karoly asked.
''Yes,'' Baden replied.
''And he didn't sustain the multiple injuries,'' Karoly asked. ''He sustained the one, correct?''
''Everybody's different,'' Baden responded. ''Yes, sir.''
After each witness testifies, Gardner has a standard question: Will the witness be called again to testify? If not, he excuses the witness from further participation in the trial.
One day, he started to go through his routine after retired Bethlehem police Capt. John Stahr had testified. But then Gardner caught himself, remembering that Stahr at the time was one of the defendants.
''He's our prisoner,'' Gardner said. ''We can't excuse him.''
Throughout the trial, Gardner has been late coming into the courtroom. A half-hour or an hour has been common.
But on Thursday, Jan. 29, he may have broken his own record for tardiness.
The lawyers and litigants were supposed to arrive at 9:30 a.m. to deal with legal issues. And the jurors were scheduled to show up at 11 a.m. for testimony. But Gardner didn't emerge from his chambers until noon and hadn't let anyone know he would be late.
He apologized, explaining that he was working on a ruling in the case.
That afternoon, after a lunch break, the parties were supposed to return at 2 p.m. But Gardner didn't arrive until 3:45 p.m.
At 4:30 p.m., he brought the jurors into the courtroom for the first time. They heard about an hour of testimony before breaking for the day.
Despite Gardner's frequent lateness, the participants in the trial usually have showed up on time. But one day after lunch, only a few people were in the courtroom when Gardner walked in. Those in the courtroom scrambled to fetch the others.
''I surprised everyone and started on time,'' Gardner said, smiling.
During the trial, the police have been criticized, the plaintiffs have been criticized, the lawyers have been criticized and the judge has been criticized.
So maybe it was inevitable that the news media would be eventually criticized too.
It was Kristin Fodi, Hirko's fiance, who made the press a target during her testimony in December. Defense lawyer Stephen Ledva Jr. was asking her about a newspaper article published two weeks after the deadly raid.
The story quoted Karoly as saying police shot Hirko as he was running up his living room stairs. Ledva asked Fodi where Karoly would have gotten that information.
''I'm assuming from me,'' Fodi replied, ''because I told him the story.''
''So you told Mr. Karoly that, from what you saw, the police shot Mr. Hirko while he was running up the stairs?'' Ledva asked.
That's when Fodi apparently realized that she had told the jury she saw Hirko collapse at the bottom of the stairs.
''No, that's not what I told Mr. Karoly,'' she replied this time. ''And you have to keep in mind that that's the press, which often doesn't quote people exactly how you say things.''
''I'm sorry. Can you say that again?'' Ledva said before pausing for comedic effect and adding, ''I don't take a position on that.''
As people in the courtroom laughed, Gardner smiled and glanced at reporters in the back of the courtroom.
''So you're saying that information is incorrect?'' Ledva asked Fodi.
''I'm saying that I don't want to say anything now,'' Fodi replied, unintentionally triggering more laughter.
''No,'' Ledva said. ''I'm asking you a question, Ms. Fodi. Are you saying that that information that is set forth in this article, that the police shot as Mr. Hirko was running up the stairs, is incorrect?''
''I am saying that that statement right there is incorrect,'' she replied. ''Yes.''
Sometimes, the lawyers' questions are more interesting than the answers, especially during cross-examination when lawyers are permitted to ask leading questions.
And Karoly has a way of turning questions into speeches.
While questioning Stahr, Karoly asked about a request Stahr had made that officers on the raid receive an award for outstanding teamwork. Stahr acknowledged that he submitted the request, but that city lawyers recommended the police commissioner not issue the award.
Then, Karoly asked this question:
''In this instance, a simple search warrant resulted in the death of a 21-year-old man, the burning of his body beyond recognition, the total destruction of his home and the near death of Kristin Fodi. What in that did you find to be an outstanding accomplishment worthy of an award by your department?''
Ledva objected to the question, and Gardner sustained the objection. But Karoly had conveyed his message to the jury.
Reporter Romy Varghese contributed to this story.