Trial started immediately after the jury was sworn in. The Prosecutor’s opening statement was really well spoken and clearly explained what they felt had occurred on the date in question. They were going to present a number of witnesses, a pile of direct evidence, and she made it clear that they would be establishing circumstantial evidence to tie it all together.
The Defense attorneys took turns with their opening statements. The both of them arguing that the other’s client were the guilty one and not theirs. I immediately felt like they were in cahoots to make it seem like both men couldn’t possibly be guilty because if one was truly guilty, the other couldn’t possibly be. Of course, illiciting doubt is their job. We were released for the day when they were done.
First thing the next morning, we were back in the deliberation room, talking casually, enjoying the coffee and donuts, and secretly hoping the Defendants were taking a plea. No such luck. The day started with a detective serving as a witness. He had been the first to enter the house that day. He had witnessed the 2nd Defendant running from the dining room and entering the kitchen, where he found the first Defendant. After a few hours of back and forth questioning between the Prosecutor and Defense the released the witness and we were able to go to lunch.
That afternoon was more interesting in my opinion. After briefly questioning a second cop who searched the vehicle, the next witness was a chemist from the crime lab who had tested the drugs found at the scene. Again, I was very impressed with the chemist who was also a very professional, well spoken woman with years of experience. She did not let the Defense trip her up the way that my least favorite Attorney was trying so desperately to do. I really wish that I had studied chemistry and gone into forensics like I had wanted to when I was younger.
After that, the Lead Detective took the stand. Of course, it started with Mr. Defense Attorney arguing that the detective shouldn’t be declared an expert if he was also a witness. Which I found interesting given that he did not have a problem with the first detective or the chemist being declared experts.
The Prosecutor continued making her way through piles of evidence. Photographs, clothing, kitchen equipment used to mix drugs, plastic bags from the trash, and drugs. There were bags of heroin, fentanyl, crack cocaine, and marijuana. While intriguing, the amount of money those bags were worth was sickening. And depressing, with the current epidemic of opioid related deaths. Interestingly enough, my (least) favorite Defense Attorney objected to the Prosecutor pointing out how dangerous fentanyl is, stating that “it wasn’t fair” which was laughably overruled as that was not a proper objection.
Wednesday we got started after lunch. It was the Defenses turn to question the Lead Detective. While I believe that the officer handled the case professionally and under proper protocol, his lack in documentation of his surveillance, and later questioning of the defendants at the scene was disappointing. And that was it for the day.
Thursday morning we we in for a surprise as the Prosecutor introduced phone calls made from Defendant 1 to Defendant 2 while in jail. They were recorded and were played for us to establish that one of the defendants was known on the street as “Snowman”. This was important to note as 2 people who were seen in the gallery of the court room were wearing t-shirts that read “Free” above a picture of a snowman.
After lunch, we were given our instructions, and an alternate was selected at random and dismissed. We were released back to the deliberation room.