Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bobby Cutts Murder Trial: Day Seven

Jessie’s entire family is all in court. Her brother is leaning forward with his hands over his face.

Judge and attorneys are going through the jury instructions.

I notice Bobby still has a lot of nice clothes. The camera is showing a close up of the family. Now an image of Bobby's father.

I imagine that closing argument will begin shortly after this task.

I notice what donchais has been saying all along. With the Judge standing on the court reporters platform, it makes him appear taller than everyone else.

Defense wants voluntary manslaughter added. Prosecution objects to that. Judge will not include.

Involuntary manslaughter, defense wants instruction. The judge tosses this instruction also.

No lesser count on the 3rd charge to be included.

So, Cutts is facing all 3 murders charges!

No rebuttal witnesses to be called!

Something else brought to his attention before the jury comes in? And the side bar starts.

The Jeopardy theme song starts to wind through my head, just waiting. Donchais points out to me the Stark Co. Prosecutor, John Ferrero. He's been at the prosecution table most of the time.
The jury is now called. They sure do this a lot faster in Ohio. In Cali, we'd be still on cross-examination of Cutts!

Yeah Barr do the closing!

Barr is thanking the jury for their time and attention. Reasonable doubt is a concept. Is it reasonable to believe the evidence in this case? Barr does a good job explaining reasonable doubt to the jury.

To be fair, means to be fair to both the defense and to the State of Ohio. To apply the law to the evidence in this case, and to not consider the possible punishment. It means proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It's a high burden of proof, but it's not impossible. Unless you were there, and unless you saw with your own two eyes, there will be doubt. You have to distinguish between doubt and imaginary doubt. An application between reasonable and what could.

Barr gives an example of comparing it to crossing the street looking both ways and not considering the possibility of the Wizard of Oz characters coming into view. This defendant committed three counts of aggravated murder. If you use reason you, the twelve of you, will be firmly convinced of the defendants guilt.

This case isn't about the state of Ohio's burden to prove, that when he left Stephanie's house, if he had the idea to commit murder, it's if he formed that intent when he was actually in the house.

For 9 days, Cutts deceived everybody. LE, new reporters, his wife, and he pretended to search for a body when he knew exactly where it was.

There is no doubt that Bobby Cutts committed the crimes, the death of Jessie and her child.

The only reasonable explanation of what happened in that house was strangulation. Strangulation is personal. You have to be up close to strangle someone.

What does your reason and common sense tells you what happened in that house? It is that Bobby strangled Jessie. The law says you can't look into the defendants mind. Bobby strangles her, wraps her body in a comforter. It's 6, 6:30 in the morning, Think he was trying to hide that body from the neighbors? He immediately constructs an alibi. He drops her body in tall grass. After he dumps the body and after nine days, a police officer would know the body would decompose, he leads the police to it. You don't hide the body unless you are trying to hide evidence.

Cutts was already in debt. He knew that his wife wasn’t coming back and he would have to pay support for his daughter. He knew he had to pay support for Chloe.

Aggravated burglary, even though they are invited into the house, if they commit an assault, he becomes a trespasser at that point.

The state even allows you to infer, that the minute he starts to murder her, he then commits aggravated burglary. Reason and common sense tells us that Jessie doesn't say, okay Bobby you can stay in my house, the minute he tries to strangle her.

Barr says Cutts knew when he was strangling Jessie that not only was he killing her, he was killing Chloe. Barr said that if medical attention had come, the baby may have survived.

Child endangerment…Cutts left Blake alone for over 24 hours, substantial risk.

We have seen two very different stories here. You heard Myisha’s story and you have the evidence. He was able to sit here and formulate his story to fit the evidence.

For nine days he went about his normal life. Worked, slept, coached, bought his daughter a toy.

Bobby’s story is unbelievable. A man trained to handle emergencies. His reaction is the reaction of a person who has committed a crime and is trying to cover it up.

Blake couldn’t have poured it. He had no shoes on. Blake would have walked through it. He would have had chemical burns on his feet.

Bobby showed you how he opened the bleach, how he held it. There is no doubt that Bobby held the bottle. He told you he did.

Barr said that Cutts said that he didn't want Blake so "see his mom that way," so why didn't he close the bedroom door and take Blake with him? Reason and common sense would say that's the appropriate thing to do. NOT take the body, cover it up and put it in an open field, unless, he's trying to get way with murder. It's not reasonable. It doesn't make sense.

Jessie was 5’4”. Bobby is 6’. There is no way his elbow hit Jessie in the throat. She would have been struck in the face or the head.

His story about the phone. It's not reasonable. We know he got there around 5:30 am. The phone was turned off at 5:30. Not reasonable to think that Jessie turned that phone off when she got up. It comes down to, Myisha, whose version of the events differs so much from Bobby's.

"I have never see him like that. He was dysfunctional." I think anyone would be dysfunctional. Adrina corroborates Myisha; Bobby corroborates Myisha.

"He would start to speak in spurts. something bad happened. My baby's mom. In the back. She’s in the back. He used his arm."

Barr demonstrates Myisha's testimony about the arm movement on the witness stand.

This movement could cause strangulation after seven minutes. He called Jessie's phone at 7 am! When he lied to the police on two occasions, he certainly could remember what he said. But it's hard to remember the lies that you said.

"I was kind do mad. You could of at lest called, I could have gotten more sleep." He leaves a message when she's in the back of the truck, why? Because he's 'beginning to cover up. He's got Myisha's, now he's got phone calls. Better leave a message. He's upset. "Why didn't she bring him over?" At some point he called coach Garcia. You heard Garcia who said, Bobby said he was going to be a little bit late.

Barr is really doing a great job!

Again, hard to keep your stories straight. He stopped at some point and Myisha sees feet, wrapped in bedding Bobby tells her that he wrapped her up. What corroborates Myisha? Blake's statement. "Mommy's in the rug. Mommy broke the table." Not Bobby's statement that he fell on the bed. But Mommy did. "Mommy's crying." As Bobby's arm was around her neck and squeezing the life out of her I'm sure she was crying. Now how does Blake make this up?

What corroborates further that Blake saw what he saw. Buns in his bed. This wonderful father left Blake so food. A couple hamburger buns and some water. Do you think Blake got those out himself and put the plastic package back on the counter?

Maybe it was to appease him, because he just saw mommy murdered. That's not a reasonable conclusion that that Blake got those buns out himself.

Bobby has and explanation for everything, how convenient!

Barr keeps hammering on “an attempt to conceal” and Cutts’ action aren’t reasonable.

He didn't leave that body out on the road where it could be found. He sits there on the stand and tells you he had no intention to hide that body! Unreasonable!

What did he intend? The inference is was to destroy the evidence of this crime. Myisha said, Bobby said that "She bit me." Bobby explained it away with the fire pit. Not reasonable explanations. And then, after you've murdered this woman and her baby, thrown the body in the back of the truck, you've taken it and dumped it in a remote location where it cant' be found, he's worried about bugs on his windshield!!! Is that reasonable? He's worried about getting rid of evidence! Is that reasonable, or is it another attempt to hide the evidence?

Is that reasonable that he then sees this pillow in the back of his truck and then decides to throw it away? There were two white bags. Myshia said it was in that other white bag. A burgundy item with a pattern on it, she could see through the plastic. Somehow some way, Bobby got something on that, maybe it was blood and he needed to destroy that evidence too. So he took it with him in a plastic bag, and he threw that out. Again, attempt to conceal the evidence in the commission of a crime.

Myisha said he gave her 100 dollars. And then he wished he could give her more. He couldn't get to his bank. And then he stops and buys mulch. And that's what we find in the back of his truck. It all corroborates Myisha.

Bobby leaves another message on Jessie’s phone. Evidence of an alibi to conceal that fact of a cover-up.

Barr tells the jury that on June 16th (Saturday), Cutts called Jessie's mother and asked if Blake saw anything. Barr said, "Yeah, he did Bobby, he saw Mommy in a rug and he saw you mad."

This is so difficult on Jessie’s family. They all look so sad.

Only after LE told him they know he lied about where he was when he made the phone calls. Then he led the to the body.

Actions speak louder than words. In this case, Bobby's actions speak of consciousness of guilt. Let's look at consciousness of guilt. 11:58 on Friday, Stephanie sends him a text message and says, "you must be really going though a lot today."

Bobby says in a text message back, "I think my phone is tapped!"

Consciousness of guilt. Not only did he hide the body, but he kept the location secret for nine days. A close up of Jessie's Father is leaning forward, breaking down. Trying to compose himself.

Reason and common sense apply to all of this that Bobby Cutts completed three counts of aggravated murder. Don't let him benefit by his continued deception. Find him guilty as charged.

Very powerful closing. I am impressed!

Mack for the defense~

He thanks the jury for their attention to the case.

Are you outraged yet? Is it because you’ve seen the photos of the decomposing body? Is it the fact that Blake was left alone? The women they paraded through that he was having extramarital affairs? He a liar? That doesn’t make him a murderer. You have to be outraged. It doesn’t tell you the facts and circumstances around Jessie’s death.

Mack says that the jury may be outraged at what they've seen but that outrage does not mean that aggravated murder was committed.

Mack says there was no nice and clean evidence presented by the prosecution.

This whole bit about strangulation? Name one witness that came in here and said, “I can tell you with some certainty that Bobby strangled Jessie”.

The prosecution is playing to your emotions.

The prosecution took the low road bringing in all these women. They brought them in to prove his a liar and cheat and isn’t worth anything.

Richard Mitchell said Booby said something to the effect that, “I’m going to kill the bitch and throw in the woods.”
He couldn’t provide the context or the circumstance in which it was said. Mack is questioning the reliability of Richard Mitchell.

There was never a problem between Bobby and Jessie. He said that Jessie would have said something to her mother on the night of June 13th if there was a problem and that never happened.

Mack is recounting Cutts' testimony about what happened on the morning of June 14th - repeating that Bobby went to the house, announced his presence and went upstairs.

Mack tells the jury that after Bobby struck Jessie, he made the effort to go over to see if she was okay. He said that Bobby checked for a pulse and then began to panic. Mack said he still tried CPR on Jessie.

Bobby did not go to Jessie's house to commit murder. Mack said that in order for the State to prove aggravated murder, they have to prove that Bobby went to Jessie's with the intent to kill her and there's no evidence of that.

Mack said that people who commit murder do not take the authorities to the body. Mack said that Bobby gave in to his conscience -- he made a wrong decision and then a right decision.

Ranke is now finishing closing.

Saying that Cutts had no financial burden. He paid his bills on time. There is no financial pressure to commit murder.
Child support as motive for killing somebody is not reasonable.

She is intimating that Blake dumped the purse on the floor.

Bobby was treated as a suspect from the very beginning. He was the only interviewed and taped numerous times.

Ranke just said Cutts and Mitchell talked together a lot because they were friends! Cutts denied that yesterday, he said the golfed and coached but, they weren’t best friends!

Ranke is also saying that Blake was responsible for spilling all the bleach.

Ranke says there was no purposeful murder of the fetus.

Ranke is finished.

Sidebar before rebuttal…

Dennis Barr, will have 13 minutes left after the sidebar.

Barr says obviously Ms. Ranke blames Blake for a lot of this.

It’s not about the fact he didn’t clean up the house and pick the table up. It’s about aggravated murder.

Cutts had a pang of conscience after nine days? C’mon!
Barr says Bobby didn't voluntarily lead them to the body, he knew the gig was up and tried to make himself look better.

It’s not about us playing to your emotions its about using your common sense. Thank you!

Judge is released jury for lunch. They will return at 12:30 and when they return, he will give them the instructions, which will be lengthy.

The jury will begin deliberations this afternoon.

Mack and Ranke are asking the Judge to include manslaughter again. Denied!

The judge is now reading the 100 page instructions to the jury.

Awww, Bobby is yawning, obviously the jury instructions are boring him and putting him to sleep!

Holy cow, we have been reading for an hour and half and the Judge just said we have another hour or so. They are only on page 50!

3:05 pm - Well, that’s it. We are now on Verdict Watch!

Our minds are made up! How ‘bout yours?

If a verdict is reached before the end of this week, there will be no mitigation next week, the earliest that sentencing would begin to be decided is on Monday, February 25th. It's expected that the jury will deliberate until 6pm each evening.

Thanks Sprocket for getting up at 5am to help me!

Wow, Ohio is really strict with the amount of time you are allowed for closing arguments. Is that just this Judge or is this how it works in all Ohio courts? Does anyone have an answer to this question?

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