Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Jury begins deliberating murder case

The fate of a Pulaski County man charged in connection with a 2008 murder was turned over to a jury late Tuesday evening, but the panel chose to wait until this morning to begin deliberating the case.
A statement made by the prosecution and jury issues late in the day Tuesday made it appear as though the two-day trial of French David Kanode might end up in a mistrial before the jury ever got to begin deliberations. However, Judge Colin Gibb denied a mistrial due to the prosecution’s statement and the jury issue appeared to be resolved before court recessed for the day.
Kanode is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder in the January 2008 stabbing death of Dawn Meredith Wright. Richard Forest Mabry is serving a 30-year prison sentence in Wright’s murder.
Fourteen jurors (nine women and five men) were initially seated to hear the case, with two serving as alternates in the event a member could not complete service. Although the alternates are selected through a drawing at the beginning of the case, they are not informed they are alternates until the case is concluded to ensure they give their full attention to the testimony.
By Tuesday morning, the panel was down one member when a female juror was excused “for good cause,” Judge Gibb said. He said the juror did nothing wrong, but was unable to continue to serve.
At the end of the case, a male juror who was an alternate was allowed to leave. However, that juror was advised to be available should one of the other jurors be unable to see the case to a conclusion.
At that point, Judge Gibb already had sent the remaining jury members to the jury room to decide whether they wished to begin deliberation Tuesday evening or get a fresh start this morning. A short time later, the jury sent word to the judge that one of the female members of the panel would not be able to return for deliberation Wednesday morning.
Judge Gibb asked that the alternate juror be notified he would be needed after all, but the juror informed the court by telephone that he didn’t know if he would be able to continue.
With the prosecution and defense’s permission, Judge Gibb retired to his chambers to have a discussion with the alternate juror as to why he may not be able to return to the case. The judge later emerged from chambers and informed the court that the alternate would be able to report to court Wednesday morning and that the juror’s issue had been resolved.
Judge Gibb then brought the jury back into the courtroom to confirm it wished to delay deliberations until Wednesday. When he informed the jury that the alternate would be able to replace the female juror who could not be present Wednesday, the jury said the female had changed her mind and would come back Wednesday.
After all of the confusion, it was determined jurors were expected back in court by 9 a.m. Wednesday to begin deliberations.
The prosecution rested its case early Tuesday after presenting testimony from a medical examiner that revealed that stab wounds inflicted by Mabry pierced both of Wright’s lungs. She said Wright died of a combination of a collapsed lung and bleeding to death.
Kanode took the stand in his own defense Tuesday, denying that he put Mabry up to killing Wright, whom he had known for about 15 years. He said he and Wright were “close friends.”
Mabry says Kanode instructed him to kill Wright as part of an initiation to get into the Pagans motorcycle gang. He claims Kanode threatened to kill him and his family if he didn’t kill Wright.
Kanode flatly denied Mabry’s claims, saying he has never been a member of any motorcycle gang. He said he doesn’t own a motorcycle, but he does own a scooter.
Although he said Mabry isn’t the kind of person he normally “hangs out” with, he went riding with the man the night of Jan. 21 because Mabry was offering to buy him beer and he wanted to get out of the house.
Kanode said he already had been at his cousin’s house earlier in the day “finishing off some liquor.” Besides drinking beer and liquor that day, he said he also was taking pain medication a doctor prescribed when he had knee surgery a few days earlier.
Asked by the prosecution whether the doctor told him to mix the medication with alcohol, Kanode said, “no, he told me not to.”
Mabry contends it was Kanode’s idea to take Wright with them that night.
Kanode said it was Mabry who drove to Wright’s house and encouraged her to go with them. He also insisted it was Mabry’s idea to drop him off at an Alum Spring Road residence while he and Wright went to “get some pills” because Mabry insisted the person selling the drugs didn’t like Kanode.
When Wright and Mabry failed to return to pick him up, Kanode said, he became angry and got a cab to take him home.
Prosecutors asked Kanode why he told a woman at the Alum Spring Road residence that Mabry was “dropping off” Wright and would be right back instead of telling her they were going to buy drugs.
Kanode said a “young man” was in the room at the time and he didn’t mention drugs out of respect.
The prosecution contends Kanode knew Wright wouldn’t be returning because Mabry was going to murder her, so he had to account for why she didn’t return with Mabry.
Kanode continued to insist he doesn’t remember Mabry coming back by his house after the taxi brought him home. He said he was too intoxicated by that time to remember, but Mabry must have come by if his fiancé says he did.
The fiancé, Cathy Fisher, testified Mabry was only there a few minutes, but Mabry testified he and Kanode spent time that night coming up with the story they intended to tell police if they were confronted about Wright’s death.
Fisher said she was present during Mabry and Kanode’s conversation and Mabry is lying.
There was quite a bit of testimony Tuesday about tattoos and whether Kanode tattooed Mabry with symbols related to the Pagans. Mabry says Kanode did the tattoos, Kanode says he didn’t.
Kanode denied having any knowledge of the meaning of the tattoos and he also denied telling police he had one that matched Mabry’s.
In closing testimony, prosecutors acknowledged Mabry lied to police several times in giving statements. They also acknowledged the defense’s description of Mabry as a “monster” is probably an “apt description.”
However, Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor said you can’t always choose your witnesses.
“Sometimes when you have the devil on trial, you have to go to hell to find your witnesses,” Fleenor said.
Defense attorney Johathon Venzie immediately objected to Fleenor’s statement and called for a mistrial. He called it “prosecutorial misconduct” to refer to the defendant as an inhuman entity.
“I said ‘sometimes if you have the devil on trial …,’” Fleenor said. He noted it would be up to the jury to decide whether this is one of those times.
Judge Gibb agreed there are some terms that are grounds for a mistrial, but he denied the mistrial. He told Venzie he would consider instructing the jury to disregard the statement if Venzie could provide evidence that the term is prohibited.

Comments

comments

Jury begins deliberating murder case

The fate of a Pulaski County man charged in connection with a 2008 murder was turned over to a jury late Tuesday evening, but the panel chose to wait until this morning to begin deliberating the case.
A statement made by the prosecution and jury issues late in the day Tuesday made it appear as though the two-day trial of French David Kanode might end up in a mistrial before the jury ever got to begin deliberations. However, Judge Colin Gibb denied a mistrial due to the prosecution’s statement and the jury issue appeared to be resolved before court recessed for the day.
Kanode is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder in the January 2008 stabbing death of Dawn Meredith Wright. Richard Forest Mabry is serving a 30-year prison sentence in Wright’s murder.
Fourteen jurors (nine women and five men) were initially seated to hear the case, with two serving as alternates in the event a member could not complete service. Although the alternates are selected through a drawing at the beginning of the case, they are not informed they are alternates until the case is concluded to ensure they give their full attention to the testimony.
By Tuesday morning, the panel was down one member when a female juror was excused “for good cause,” Judge Gibb said. He said the juror did nothing wrong, but was unable to continue to serve.
At the end of the case, a male juror who was an alternate was allowed to leave. However, that juror was advised to be available should one of the other jurors be unable to see the case to a conclusion.
At that point, Judge Gibb already had sent the remaining jury members to the jury room to decide whether they wished to begin deliberation Tuesday evening or get a fresh start this morning. A short time later, the jury sent word to the judge that one of the female members of the panel would not be able to return for deliberation Wednesday morning.
Judge Gibb asked that the alternate juror be notified he would be needed after all, but the juror informed the court by telephone that he didn’t know if he would be able to continue.
With the prosecution and defense’s permission, Judge Gibb retired to his chambers to have a discussion with the alternate juror as to why he may not be able to return to the case. The judge later emerged from chambers and informed the court that the alternate would be able to report to court Wednesday morning and that the juror’s issue had been resolved.
Judge Gibb then brought the jury back into the courtroom to confirm it wished to delay deliberations until Wednesday. When he informed the jury that the alternate would be able to replace the female juror who could not be present Wednesday, the jury said the female had changed her mind and would come back Wednesday.
After all of the confusion, it was determined jurors were expected back in court by 9 a.m. Wednesday to begin deliberations.
The prosecution rested its case early Tuesday after presenting testimony from a medical examiner that revealed that stab wounds inflicted by Mabry pierced both of Wright’s lungs. She said Wright died of a combination of a collapsed lung and bleeding to death.
Kanode took the stand in his own defense Tuesday, denying that he put Mabry up to killing Wright, whom he had known for about 15 years. He said he and Wright were “close friends.”
Mabry says Kanode instructed him to kill Wright as part of an initiation to get into the Pagans motorcycle gang. He claims Kanode threatened to kill him and his family if he didn’t kill Wright.
Kanode flatly denied Mabry’s claims, saying he has never been a member of any motorcycle gang. He said he doesn’t own a motorcycle, but he does own a scooter.
Although he said Mabry isn’t the kind of person he normally “hangs out” with, he went riding with the man the night of Jan. 21 because Mabry was offering to buy him beer and he wanted to get out of the house.
Kanode said he already had been at his cousin’s house earlier in the day “finishing off some liquor.” Besides drinking beer and liquor that day, he said he also was taking pain medication a doctor prescribed when he had knee surgery a few days earlier.
Asked by the prosecution whether the doctor told him to mix the medication with alcohol, Kanode said, “no, he told me not to.”
Mabry contends it was Kanode’s idea to take Wright with them that night.
Kanode said it was Mabry who drove to Wright’s house and encouraged her to go with them. He also insisted it was Mabry’s idea to drop him off at an Alum Spring Road residence while he and Wright went to “get some pills” because Mabry insisted the person selling the drugs didn’t like Kanode.
When Wright and Mabry failed to return to pick him up, Kanode said, he became angry and got a cab to take him home.
Prosecutors asked Kanode why he told a woman at the Alum Spring Road residence that Mabry was “dropping off” Wright and would be right back instead of telling her they were going to buy drugs.
Kanode said a “young man” was in the room at the time and he didn’t mention drugs out of respect.
The prosecution contends Kanode knew Wright wouldn’t be returning because Mabry was going to murder her, so he had to account for why she didn’t return with Mabry.
Kanode continued to insist he doesn’t remember Mabry coming back by his house after the taxi brought him home. He said he was too intoxicated by that time to remember, but Mabry must have come by if his fiancé says he did.
The fiancé, Cathy Fisher, testified Mabry was only there a few minutes, but Mabry testified he and Kanode spent time that night coming up with the story they intended to tell police if they were confronted about Wright’s death.
Fisher said she was present during Mabry and Kanode’s conversation and Mabry is lying.
There was quite a bit of testimony Tuesday about tattoos and whether Kanode tattooed Mabry with symbols related to the Pagans. Mabry says Kanode did the tattoos, Kanode says he didn’t.
Kanode denied having any knowledge of the meaning of the tattoos and he also denied telling police he had one that matched Mabry’s.
In closing testimony, prosecutors acknowledged Mabry lied to police several times in giving statements. They also acknowledged the defense’s description of Mabry as a “monster” is probably an “apt description.”
However, Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor said you can’t always choose your witnesses.
“Sometimes when you have the devil on trial, you have to go to hell to find your witnesses,” Fleenor said.
Defense attorney Johathon Venzie immediately objected to Fleenor’s statement and called for a mistrial. He called it “prosecutorial misconduct” to refer to the defendant as an inhuman entity.
“I said ‘sometimes if you have the devil on trial …,’” Fleenor said. He noted it would be up to the jury to decide whether this is one of those times.
Judge Gibb agreed there are some terms that are grounds for a mistrial, but he denied the mistrial. He told Venzie he would consider instructing the jury to disregard the statement if Venzie could provide evidence that the term is prohibited.

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login