Brown Trial: Jury Still Out
The jury in Michael Brown's assault trial will resume deliberations tomorrow, unable to reach a decision after three hours today.
The deliberation followed fiery closing arguments by prosecutors Jane Waters and Nathan Hennigan, acting more alive than they have throughout the trial. Waters was especially animated, moving around, and stepping behind the ex-hand surgeon and nearly shouting her pleas for jurors to exercise "common sense." She said the evidence was clear that Brown twisted his wife's arm on the morning of August 13, 2010.
Prosecutors' arguments followed a low-key, almost folksy closing by Dick DeGuerin, who continued the defense's crack strategy of painting Rachel Brown as a gold-digging whore. He was able to tell the jury for the first time about her affair with former Astro Jeff Bagwell, who DeGuerin said made "the wrong choice" in starting a relationship with Rachel. (Rachel was called to the stand for the third time, just so DeGuerin could ask Rachel about her relationship with Bagwell. Oy vey.)
DeGuerin said Rachel provoked her husband that morning: "Rachel was angry. Rachel was in a rage. Rachel planned to confront Michael" about his alleged infidelity. DeGuerin added that Rachel "lies with such facility, such ease."
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He argued that Rachel began recording her phone conversations with Brown as early as February 2010 as a plot to gain the upper hand in future divorce proceedings, saying that she already planned to take up with a new sugardaddy in the guise of Bagwell. He also rattled off a Latin legal phrase that states that if you lie about one thing, you lie about everything. (We were hoping he'd also share the phrase about "If you beat one wife...")
Waters charged out of the gate, shredding DeGuerin's insistence that Rachel's use of the F-word on the day in question had any relevance. (This was a much-welcome observation in a case that has spent waaaaay too much time on how many times permutations of the word "fuck" were bandied about on the day in question.)
Pointing to Brown, Waters told the jury that "We're here because of his actions," and not because of any cursing or ex-Astro-banging. She cranked her passion up to 11 with the assertion that "You are the 12 who can stop him before the arm's broken...before there is a dead body." (We half-expected her to follow this up with a crotch-grab and a hearty "Suck it!" in DeGuerin's general direction.) Brian Wice objected to the whole dead-body bit, but Judge Jim Wallace overruled him.
Hennigan complemented his argument with an overhead projection of the defense's four key theories, saying, "It's telling of their case that they have to resort to such lame attempts." He chalked DeGuerin's allegations of conspiracy and gold-digging (among others) as a "subterfuge" to the real issue.
The jury will resume deliberations bright and early tomorrow. We have no idea how things will go. But we were glad to see the prosecution come to life today!
By the way, here's the official Taiwanese-animation video of events so far.
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