Reported by Amanda Ward
Closing arguments in the Vernier trial begin Thursday morning at 9 a.m. Both sides wrapped their cases yesterday, ending with Jonathan Vernier himself on the stand.
To reach a guilty verdict is going to be a matter of semantics for the jury. The charges are carjacking resulting in death. The question is did Jonathan Vernier carjack Ran Mesika or did Mesika pick up a hitch-hiker and eventually get in a fight that killed the Israeli man.
The prosecution suggests Vernier intended on taking the van from the beginning which Vernier has admitted in several interviews with investigators. Vernier also has an extensive criminal history of carjacking, driving stolen vehicles, and aggravated car theft. He's already been convicted on several charges and served time. He had recently escaped from Colorado Correctional facility when he met Ran Mesika in Texas.
Vernier said it was at the Walmart on Highway 171 that the two men got in a fight and ran lost.