Sunday, June 19, 2005

Thursday June 16th--Nabors Testimony Concludes

Court Watch Update-- Thursday June 16th, 2005

William Dubois (attorney for Jose Merel): "Why should we believe you?"
Jaron Nabors: "Well, in the absence of predated confidence, all we're left with is rational perception."

For 9 long days, Nabors testified for the prosecution. He held up well. The defense attorneys Thorman, Dubois and Serra took their turns alternately questioning and ultimately badgering him in a variety of creative ways--by pointing out pejorative terms he used, ugly language and slurs, avoiding eye contact with the jury, the deal he eventually received for taking police to Gwen's body and testifying against his former friends.

Dubois: "You had to move very quickly (before anyone else got a deal first) didn't you?
Nabors: "No, I wanted to move quickly...I don't think I could have gotten a deal any worse," (meaning he will serve the maximum sentence.)
Serra: "Isn't what you're doing called 'speaking with forked tongue'--agree?"
Nabors:"No. I'm not lying."
Serra: "In your next life, be a lawyer!" (Lamiero objects.)
Thorman (attorney for Michael Magidson):"Why don't you look at them (the jury)?"
Nabors: "In my circumstances, I think it would be inappropriate...I'm not a victim facing my attackers. And I'm not a defendant asking to go home. "

In the end, Lamiero asked the most important questions.

Lamiero: "You said all of you (Merel, Cazares, and Magidson) should have seperate trials--why?"
Nabors: "(Because) only 1 person killed Lida."
Lamiero: "At that time, you drew a distinction between the person who did the act (versus) those who helped?"
Nabors: "Yes."

Lamiero noted Nabors' lack of remorse over Gwen's death evident in phone calls he made from jail to his girlfriend, and tape-recorded by police shortly after his arrest.
Lamiero: "How do you feel about that today?"
Nabors: "It hurts. When I think back on it, I realize I didn't even care what happened to her. Everyone deserves at least that. I didn't even have enough character to. Not only did I not try, I didn't even consider trying...I could have stopped it."
Lamiero: "Mr. Thorman has asked you about not looking at the jury--have you testified truthfully?"
Nabors: "Yes."
Lamiero: "So, even if all three of these men walk out of this courtroom free, you'll still do 11 years?"
Nabors: "I know that."
Lamiero: "Want the jury to believe you?"
Nabors: "It doesn't really matter to me."
Lamiero: "Explain your answer."
Nabors: "Well, I don't want them to think I'm a liar. But, it's up to them."

Lamiero had no further questions; the defense attorneys excused Nabors with the stipulation that they may recall him for more questions later.

Although there were a couple of press people in court that morning, they left after lunch and missed what was probably the most important testimony we've seen in either trial thus far. The small coderie of folks who stayed for the afternoon meandered out the door. Gwen's mom Sylvia called an "emergency victims' meeting"--she was frustrated and upset with the tactics the defense attorneys used-- " Why did the judge let them badger him like that?" Whatever the reason, the more out of control the defense attorneys got, the less their version(s) of events seemed plausible. And the more we believed Jaron Nabors.

I don't know whether he was quoting someone else--Ayn Rand? (if anyone knows--tell me) but nevertheless, Nabors was pretty much right--"in the absence of predated confidence, all we're left with is rational perception."

Afterall, at this point--what more does he really have to lose?

--Connie Champagne

(Court resumes Monday June 20th @ 9AM--the medical examiner is expected to take the stand.)