Good morning all! The trial will start in a few minutes.
The jury instructions will be read first before the closing arguments start. I will not cover the instructions. Those are not too exciting.
This may take about 20-30 minutes or so, depending how many instructions.
When closings start, Assistant Linn County Attorney Nic Scott will give his argument first, followed by Tyler Johnston. Scott will then get to come back after Johnston for rebuttal.
No snow here. Just rain but it's chilly!
Well, that went faster than usual. Nic Scott will make his closing first.
Scott: Mitchell needed crack cocaine and he didn't care who he had to kill to get his fix. He murdered Cathy Stickley. We have witnesses and his bloody handprints on the cab. Only his prints.
Scott: I told you that at the first of this trial and nothing has changed.
Scott: Stickley was stabbed 18 times. She bleed to death. She left behind four children and grandchildren.
Scott: Unfortunately, Cathy can't be here to tell you she wasn't a dealer or user of drugs, so who did have a habit? Johnathan Dewayne Mitchell.
Scott: Mitchell had to admit he was in the alley that night. He admitted he had physical contact with her. He admitted he searched the cab, leaving his prints. He left his prints on the fence gate.
Scott: Mitchell was forced to admit he took her purse and bank bag. He admitted buying crack cocaine from Benji Owens with Stickley's money. He was forced to admit these things because there is evidence. His bloody prints were found in the cab.
Scott: Mitchell was a habitual crack user. His crack pipe was found in his garbage. Mariah Lang saw him use crack. Owens said he sold it to him.
Scott: The defense tried to discredit Owens and Tommy Collins but Mitchell confirmed the statements both of them made.
Scott: Mitchell's version of his story isn't credible. He approached Benji and he's carrying a woman's purse. That's something Benji would have noticed, a 6 foot, 200-some pound man carrying a purse. A more real scenario is that he approached him first without the purse and then went and got the money to pay him.
Scott: Mitchell's original destination was Oakland Gardens when he approached Stickley in the Hy-Vee parking lot. It's over a mile - he wouldn't have walked. He needed a cab. Once at the apartment he couldn't find crack.
Scott: He didn't have a phone, he confirmed that. It's not unreasonable to think he asked to use Stickley's phone to call Owens.
Scott: Mitchell wasn't going to walk from Oakland Gardens back to Owens. He led Stickley on her final drive that night.
Scott: I apologize putting on two convicted felons, Owens and Collins, but I didn't choose those witnesses. Mitchell chose them when he murdered Stickley in the alley that night. He didn't care what he had to do that night to get his fix.
Scott: He's going over reasonable doubt instruction. There has to be reasonable doubt but its "not beyond all possible doubt." Make deductions according to "reason and common sense." Consider direct evidence and circumstantial evidence.
Scott: Reference throughout instructions - use your common sense. It's your job as a juror to reconcile conflicts or if you can't find essence which is more reasonable.
You can find all the testimony of a witness as credible, part of it or none of it.
The jury could find him guilty of robbery and not guilty of murder. Is that what you meant?
I don't think they got any identifiable prints off the phone.
Scott: Defendant acted with malice of aforethought. A fixed purpose or design. It doesn't have to exist for any particular time. Malice may be inferred. This robbery resulted in death. You may infer that. You can infer the use of a dangerous weapon is indicative of malice.
Scott: When Mitchell stabbed Stickley to get her money he committed a robbery. Once she died, he committed murder.
Judge is giving jury a break before Johnston gives his closing. Be back in 15.
Johnston: We asked you to do one thing in this case look at all the evidence. The state has tried to show these prints mean more than they do. It's circumstantial evidence. Mitchell didn't do a good thing. He committed a crime of stealing from Stickley. There's no instruction that says you should find him guilty of the most serious crime.
Johnston: This alley was a thoroughfare of where people were selling and buying drugs. Anybody could have come through and done this to her. But it doesn't mean they stabbed her and killed her.
Johnston: There's no proof that Mitchell was at the Hy-Vee. We put that into evidence. That's pure speculation. There's no proof that Stickley would give her phone to someone else. She had security on her phone. What cab driver would give somebody their phone.
Johnston: There's a lot of circumstantial evidence in this case. There was no weapon found. Mitchell had no injuries. No DNA of STickely was found on him or his clothing. Mitchell told you what he did that night and where he went.
Johnston is having some technical trouble with a video.
Johnston: He's showing jurors surveillance video of Road Ranger. There's two cabs there at 8:41 p.m. and one of them is Stickley's. The prosecutor kept asking Mitchell what time did he leave the house that night and what time he went by Road Ranger. He says person walking by is Mitchell.
Johnston: He's wearing white coat and red hat at 8:42 p.m. which is where he told you he was and what he was doing. His clothing was put into evidence. The state didn't. There wasn't a speck of blood on any of this clothing.
Johnston: Who wouldn't show you a seen of where the victim and defendant are in the same scene? He's pointing out on video saying "That's Johnathan Mitchell. That's his white coat and red hat."
I can't see the video.
Johnston: Mitchell is walking away from the cab.
Johnston is backing up video and showing it again. He's wearing white coat, shorts, red hat and shoes. He's crossing 1st Avenue. "This is a video the state didn't want you to see."
That's why state was asking Mitchell what time did he go past Road Ranger.