UPDATE March 17th, 2009: NO SUR-REBUTTAL CASE BY THE DEFENSE!
The next time counsel will be before the jury, will be for closing arguments. Closing arguments are expected to start on Monday, March 23rd at 9:30 am, and could take as long as three-and-a-half days.
Calling only two more witnesses, Nick Terzian and Alhambra Police Officer Ester Rodriguez (aka Corporal Pineda) the prosecution rested it's rebuttal case. As court ended, the defense still had not decided whether or not to put on a sur-rebuttal case. Spector could not talk to Weinberg at this time about it. He had a doctor's appointment. I overheard Weinberg say in the well that he might know by 4 or 5 pm, which would be too late for the court.
Jurors were let go this afternoon around 2:40 pm without knowing for certain if they would return tomorrow for more testimony or return next Monday for the start of closing arguments. They were told that Wendy would call them in the morning and let them know if they would need to return tomorrow afternoon and to let their employer's know that this would still be considered a jury day.
There are several issues that counsel stated they will go over outside of the court's time. That includes deciding on which evidentiary items will be sent in with the jurors (Jackson indicated to the court that there are hundreds of items of evidence that need to be decided upon) as well as finalizing the detailed wording for some jury instructions. Jackson indicated that they would do their best to get as much of this decided outside of the court's time. All the court will be involved with will be the final decision on the involuntary manslaughter charge and the special instruction that the defense wants added. I'm guessing that those issues would be finalized on most likely, Thursday. If I am able to get notice on that, I'll go downtown and cover it.
There was a disagreement between the two parties as to when to start closing arguments. Weinberg wanted them started this Thursday, then the weekend break and then he would deliver his closing on Monday. This would give plenty of time for Ms. Do's rebuttal closing. The prosecution was opposed to that. They wanted to start on Monday and go straight through. Fidler tended to agree with that. Weinberg has an appellate issue that he got transferred down to Los Angeles County on March 25th, in the afternoon. That's why Weinberg wanted to start closings early, to not come up tight against that time where he would be arguing in this case, and also have to argue another case in the afternoon.
Fidler asked Weinberg if he could call the Judge on that case and see if they would agree to a postponement. So, it appears that Fidler is going to call another Judge to see if Weinberg's appellate issue can be moved to another day and time.
It's estimated that closing arguments could take anywhere from two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half days. Fidler does have a seminar that he is attending on Friday the 27th in a building across the street. He stated that he could be called and be in the courtroom in ten minutes if the jury needs anything, so the jury will be able to deliberate on that date. Monday, March 30th and Tuesday March 31st are dark days, but I don't know the reason.
Linda Kenny Baden and her brother-in-law, Robert Baden were in the courtroom today, sitting in the gallery on the defense side. I have no idea why they were here. Also in the courtroom sitting in the back row where Harriet Ryan would normally sit was the defense's jury consultant, Richard Gabriel, who took quite a few notes while he was watching the jury.
More to come....