They were just about to begin closing arguments when Judge Clayton Davis decided to send everybody home because of the threat of bad weather. But the trial will pick up again at nine in the morning.
It was a case where clearly, most witnesses did not want to talk and some who did had serious credibility problems.
Early on, it was a tough case for law enforcement. In the weeks after the shooting death of Brandon Dicks, June 14, 2010, the sheriff put the word out that investigators believed not everyone who knew what happened was coming forward and telling the truth. The sheriff warned such people could face criminal charges. And now those difficulties seem to extend to the trial.
Clearly non law enforcement witnesses in the case don't want to be there, most have criminal histories and are at worst hostile to the state. The jury heard witness testimony that conflicts with previous statements given to law enforcement or even contradicted their previous testimony when undergoing cross examination by the defense.
Just before 3 p.m. the state rested and the defense called former co-defendant Diamond Jenkins whose charges have been dismissed. But once on the stand she took the fifth-- that is invoking her constitutional right against self incrimination. She said, "On advice of my attorney Todd Clemons I invoke my 5th amendment right."
At that point the defense rested and closing arguments were to get started at 3:30 p.m. when the judge said all could go home to avoid the threat of bad weather.
Meanwhile, family members of Brandon Dicks, who was only 22 years old when he was killed, watch and wait hoping to find out the truth of what happened to Brandon. His mother Joyce Spillman vividly remembers the night she lost her oldest son. "She was like we gotta go to Chennault to Stephanie's house. I said, 'what happened? I said you all please tell me. Don't beat around the bush. Tell me what's going on. And that's when they told me my son Brandon was dead."
Brandon was the oldest of eight children. His step grandfather Joseph Ross says the family will never be the same. "It has been totally devastating. I mean it has turned the family's world upside down. He was 22 years old and a life being snuffed out this early, with him gone, it's like taking a peace out of a puzzle. And it threw everybody off center. And everyone has a piece of them that's missing."
So closing arguments are to get underway at nine in the morning and we'll be there waiting for a verdict.