Update June 13, 2013 5:24 p.m.
After about a half-hour of deliberations, the jury sent out a note asking that ‘If they reach a verdict on one charge, then do they need to reach a verdict on the other?’ After conferring with attorneys, Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg sent back a response asking them to please consult a particular set of jury instructions and decide each count separately.
Update June 13, 2013 3:53 p.m.
Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp presented her rebuttal of Hedland’s arguments.
One man and one woman were excused as alternates and were thanked for their four weeks of service. Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg also recommended that they seek court-funded counseling if they desire it. This trial contained particularly gruesome autopsy photographs that were disturbing to most jurors.
The remaining members of the jury panel retired to the deliberation room at about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. They will select a foreman and may consider the evidence for an hour-and-a-half. If they don’t reach a verdict by 5 o’clock, then they will return Friday morning to start a possible full day of deliberations.
Update June 13, 2013 1:35 p.m.
Public defender Eric Hedland has started his closing arguments. He is pointing out what he believes are logical gaps and holes in the prosecution’s theory.
Original story June 13, 2013 12:35 p.m.
Closing arguments are underway in the David J. Paul homicide trial, now in it’s fourth week.
Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp is addressing the jury, recapping some of the testimony and reviewing the chain of events as an injured four-month old Rian Orr is examined and treated by physicians. She passed away in August 2010. Paul is accused of causing the injuries that included brain swelling and bleeding, and older rib and thigh fractures.
Public defender Eric Hedland will have a chance later to make his case before Kemp has one last, final shot to rebut his comments.
The courtroom gallery is almost completely filled with police officers and local attorneys listening as the nearly three-year old criminal case begins winding down.
Earlier on Thursday, Hedland moved again for a motion of acquittal on the remaining charges. Paul faces one count each of manslaughter and murder in the second degree with extreme indifference to the value of human life. A charge of murder in the second degree with intent or knowledge that it would cause serious injury or death was thrown out earlier in the trial. But, on Thursday, Judge Philip Pallenberg denied the most recent acquittal motion on the manslaughter charge and, again, declined to decide on the remaining murder charge.
- The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning until Saturday morning for Mendenhall River and surrounding area.
- Large projects can often be contentious, and two of the most debated state projects in the past few years have been the Knik Arm Crossing and the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project.
- Gov. Bill Walker announced an additional $10 million cut to the University of Alaska.
- The largest share of that cut is to the account the state uses to partially reimburse local governments for school bonds.