Closing Arguments Loom in Alleged 'Road Rage' Stabbing

Defense will argue that Cort Holbrook of Livermore acted in self defense when he fatally stabbed Ricky Ziesmer of Fremont. Prosecutors say Holbrook was enraged.


Closing arguments will begin next week in the trial of Livermore resident Cort Holbrook who fatally stabbed Ricky Ziesmer of Fremont during a fight in a parking lot in downtown Livermore around 1:30 pm on March 9, 2011.

Deputy District Attorney Brian Owens is seeking to prove that Holbrook acted in a rage when he stabbed Ziesmer twice in the torso. 

Defense attorney Timothy Rien has argued that the defendant, who is being held in Santa Rita Jail on $3 million bail, was acting in self-defense.

As Patch has reported Ziesmer and girlfriend Roschelle Morgan of Newark were driving down First Street in Livermore when they got into a gesturing match with Holbrook, who was also behind the wheel.

Both drivers pulled into a parking lot near the Livermore Cyclery and John's Char Burger where Ziesmer and Holbrook got into a fistfight.

According to probable cause statement, Ziesmer twice punched Holbrook in the face, knocking him to the ground. The statement says Holbrook reached into his car, retrieved a dagger and stabbed Ziesmer in the upper chest.

Ziesmer drove himself to ValleyCare Medical offices in Livermore but had to be transferred to Eden Hospital in Castro Valley, where he died later that day.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that Owens told jurors last week that Holbrook's knife was advertised as "better than firearms." 

The trial will resume Monday at 9 a.m. in Department 518 of the Hayward Hall of Justice before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy.

Patch will file updates.

Read more by clicking on:

an initial report of the stabbing;

an interview with the victim's girlfriend;

an interview with the defendant.


harold March 14, 2013 at 09:35 PM
well pete it was his gun u wrestled with him for where as it wasn't ricky weapon and u didn't shoot him again like holbrook stabbed more than once and to add to that he went after his car to try and stop him from getting help so when dose self defense end and rage start so to me it's plan enough murder
Ru4reel March 27, 2013 at 04:06 PM
I guess everyone here is above reproach especially you Jerryduds or should I say Jackie and Nate...Pathetic to use this forum to spew your venom of hate...Many think the two of you are the biggest Meth heads in the USA so glass living isn't where you should throw rocks...
Robert O'Connor March 27, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Your beyond stupid! There are no laws about only fist's in a fist fight! you start pounding on me and I am going to cap your ass, stick a knife in your ass and run your ass over! assault is assault and there is only one rule that is to survive without injury!
harold March 27, 2013 at 10:08 PM
well Robert O'Connor the way it works is u don't stop and put yourself out where injury is or are u saying that u get out with murder your intent as not to b injured now they both stopped and got out what started as a fist fight ended with Cort bringing a weapon in to it and stabbing Ricky more than once and the car he was in so i can't c how he didn't have intent on not just to injure Ricky but to kill him
Ru4reel April 01, 2013 at 09:39 AM
Nate you need to get a life....using an alias Jerry Duds to make up lies on someone just because you are the biggest piece of crap on the lawn doesn't change the fact that you are the biggest piece of crap on the lawn...you never even knew Rick so quit trying to act like you know anything about it...


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