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By the time Ben Markowitz began testifying at the Jesse James Hollywood trial on Tuesday morning, his name had already come up many times before, usually in a negative context.
In the first days of the trial, Markowitz’s father discussed the difficulties of raising him. The defendant’s former girlfriend Michelle Lasher said he had threatened her and Hollywood’s lives in a voicemail, and the prosecution read a transcript in which she described him as a “slimy piece of shit.” Even Ben Markowitz himself seemed to agree: “To be honest, I was a fucking dickhead back then,” he said, referring to the time period of August 2000.
During that time, Markowitz’s younger half-brother, Nicholas, was kidnapped and killed by a group of people who Ben Markowitz dealt drugs with. Hollywood, who now faces the death penalty for allegedly masterminding the crime, was not present for the actual murder. However, he and Ben Markowitz were apparently involved in a feud that now could strongly determine the outcome of this case.