Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Not too long now

I figure it'll take about 60-75 minutes tops for the jury to convict him.

And that long only because they have to read the charge and elect a foreperson.

Jury hears defendant's story in '06 slaying
Graeme Zielinski - Express-News

Days after the stabbing death of Homer Lee Daniels in June 2006, Richard Jett, with knife wounds on his hands, told San Antonio police detectives that he was abducted at gunpoint by “two guys in ski masks” from Daniels' East Side home.

The men then took Jett to a Wendy's, in Daniels' car, that happened to be right behind Jett's sister's North Side apartment complex.

“I'm telling you, man, I'm telling the truth,” Jett said in a tape-recorded interview made after his arrest in Daniels' death and played for jurors Tuesday in the third week of his murder trial.
In the recording, Timm Angel, a homicide detective, expressed some incredulity at the coincidence, saying: “That's so bizarre, Richard, that we're going to be able to disprove it easily at trial. ... You came up with this on the fly after we told you we had your blood.”
Investigators found blood from Daniels and Jett at the crime scene.

After the detectives continued to express their skepticism at his story, Jett is heard sounding resigned to their opinion, saying, “I just put it in God's hands now.”

The recording detailing the story of the masked gunmen — one of whom had lunged at him with a knife, Jett said as an attempt to explain his wounds — was the first evidence a jury had heard as an alternate explanation for just who killed Daniels, 80.

Prosecutors contend Jett went to Daniels' home after being evicted from his residence and was upset and drinking when he fatally stabbed him.

For the first time during his trial, Jett, who was denied the opportunity to defend himself because of a history of mental illness, actually sat through the proceedings in the courtroom rather than a holding cell. This was after more than a week of outbursts and recalcitrance that included instances of his soiling and drawing on himself, as well as violent threats to his court-appointed lawyers.

Just as the trial was set to resume Tuesday, 379th District Judge Bert Richardson, who has made great efforts to navigate the novel questions raised in the trial, a call was made to Jett's jailers, who indicated that yes, after a night of prayer, Jett did want to participate in the trial now.

Before the jury was led into the courtroom, Jett sought to make amends in an apology read by one of his lawyers, John Kuntz.
“No more tricks or surprises,” the note read. “I promise I'll be on my best behavior during my murder trial.”