Murder trial of Joel Bailey nears conclusion

DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - The fate of Joel Bailey will soon be up to a jury of three men and nine women. The evidence portion of the First Degree Murder trial wrapped up this afternoon and closing arguments will be in the morning. Bailey's mother was among witnesses who took the stand on this last day of testimony.

Jurors have heard a lot of testimony from experts who don't all agree on Joel Bailey and whether he sane and knew right from wrong when he shot and killed his father and wounded his mother on September 9th 2007.

But on this last day of testimony they heard his mother, Dorothy Bailey, talk about her son as well as the horrific night of the shootings. She doesn't remember much about that night but in her words,"It wasn't Joel." She says she remembers seeing him crouched down in a sort of combat position just before the shots were fired. She thinks it happened because of problems with his medicine. She doesn't blame her son for what happened and says she still loves him and would like to see him in a private facility where he can be safe.

Dorothy Bailey also testified about his extensive history of mental illness and how he would hear voices and see things that weren't there-- for example people in trees in the woods near their home. And the jury heard from other relatives who knew Joel after he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.  They say they sometimes heard him talking in different voices sort of like a ventriloquist.

Joel Bailey has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. It will soon be up to the jury to decide. Closing arguments are set to begin at 9:30 in the morning in DeRidder. Then the jury will be instructed by the judge. Soon after deliberations will get underway.

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