Closing Arguments to Start Thursday - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/13/06

Closing Arguments to Start Thursday

Kevin Huckabee Kevin Huckabee
Michael Thorpe Michael Thorpe
Webster Wilson Webster Wilson

The Jennifer Ross murder trial is winding down. Testimony is over, the prosecution rested and the defense didn't put up a defense. With the jury out of the courtroom, the attorneys did call defendants Michael Thorpe, Webster Wilson and Kevin Huckabee to the stand to explain they have a right to remain silent and a right to testify.

They all told Judge Penny Haas Freesemann they did not want to testify.

With that, the jury was brought back in the and defense rested around 4:30pm. 

Closing arguments will begin tomorrow once court resumes around 9am. The jury should start deliberating tomorrow afternoon. 

The prosecution's final witness--Don McCutcheon, the lead detective for the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department in the case--took the stand before lunch and testified for several hours. And he was grilled by the defense attorneys about this case.

The eyewitness accounts of who robbed and shot Ross raise many questions. Brett Finley, Ross' friend who was pistol whipped during the attack, told Det. McCutcheon the muggers were three black men.

Brannen Miles told the detective he is positive the muggers drove away in a gray Ford Taurus. He also said two of the robbers were white men. This has been a big issue with the defense attorneys, who asked why McCutcheon didn't look for white suspects.

Lizzy Sprague told the detective she saw one black man and agreed with Miles on the rest.

The defense attorneys also have a big problem with the state's star witness, Sean Thorpe. Sean is Michael Thorpe's uncle and is friends with Wilson and Huckabee. He testified he was with the trio when they robbed and shot Ross and provided a lot of detail about the crime.

The defense attorneys say he's a liar and is telling this story to save his own skin.

The other friends of the men on trial are convicted criminals; they told the jury they heard Thorpe, Wilson and Huckabee brag about the crime. Defense attorneys told the jury they can't be trusted.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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