by Victor Lopez
MIDLAND COUNTY--Differences in opinion between prosecutors and defense attorneys led to an interesting decision by the presiding judge on Monday.
Those differences in opinion covered a lot of ground, from the charge that will be read to the jurors before closing arguments, to when that process, itself, would begin.
The final defense witness was excused from the stand around 11a.m. Monday morning. By that time, State Attorney David Glickler said they were ready to hand the case over to the jury.
Defense Attorney Woody Leverette said, he felt "the defense was getting the bum rush by the state." With each side getting between 30 minutes to an hour for their closing arguments, plus about 30 minutes for the judge to read the charge, defense attorneys were concerned jurors might be more mindful of the late hour and any possible plans for the evening, than deliberating the case at hand. So, Leverette asked that everyone be called back Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. and get a fresh start.
There was also some quibble between the wording on the charge to the jury, with regards to some of the language.
Visiting Judge Robert Moore decided to leave it up to the jury. He gave them the option to take the case on Monday afternoon or wait until Tuesday morning. They decided to go with the fresh start and court was dismissed for the day, just after 1 p.m. Monday afternoon.
The trial will pick back up Tuesday morning at nine a.m. with the judge's charge to the jury, followed by closing arguments. All four attorneys plan to deliver separate parts of those statements. Then, it's up to the jury, to decide the fate of Winkler County Sheriff Robert Roberts.