After seven hours of deliberations Friday, a jury went home for the night in the trial of a 12-year-old murder suspect, but in addition to determining a verdict in the Chris Sturm trial, it also heard a full morning of closing statements.
The jury not only has to consider two aggravated murder charges, it also has to look at three specifications connected to those charges, and that's apparently taking them a while.
While jurors heard just two days of testimony, it heard a pair of impassioned closing arguments; perhaps just enough to give them reason to think about the case.
In so many words, Sturm's defense attorney said it's not a slam-dunk case. Not when there's the issue of the life insurance policy of victim Nancy Tidd, whose long-time
"You set him up Frank," declared Sturm's attorney, Ray Smith, while looking right at Russell, who was in the audience. "You told him about the phone call and the police go after him, and did the police ask about life insurance?"
But prosecutors attempted to strike down defense claims that Sturm was coerced into confessing to the deaths of Nancy and Emma Tidd. They say Sturm didn't need to be coerced.
"Will someone please tell me how Mark Warden coerced him?," asked Assistant Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings. "All he had to do was ask, ‘what are you most afraid of?’ And the confession just gushed out."
While the jury apparently is weighing its decision carefully, attorneys, and perhaps more importantly, Chris Sturm and his family, wait another day for their decision.
The jury is scheduled to resume its deliberations Saturday Morning at 9:00.