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Byron Case Transcripts 28 Closing Argument Defense

Byron Case Transcripts 28 Closing Argument Defense

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Published by skepticaljuror
This is supporting documentation for The Skeptical Juror: Missouri v. Case. It is the first book in a new true crime series.

To learn more about the book, the series, and the concept of The Skeptical Juror, visit me at www.skepticaljuror.com

-tsj
This is supporting documentation for The Skeptical Juror: Missouri v. Case. It is the first book in a new true crime series.

To learn more about the book, the series, and the concept of The Skeptical Juror, visit me at www.skepticaljuror.com

-tsj

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Published by: skepticaljuror on Jun 16, 2009
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Closing argument by Defense Counsel Horton LanceState of Missouri v. Byron CaseMay 2, 2002Pages 1188-1218Page 1188THE COURT:Mr. Lance, are you ready to proceed with closing argument on behalf of Mr. Case?MR. LANCE:Yes, Your Honor.THE COURT:You may do so.MR. LANCE:Anastasia WitbolsFeugen was the victim of a random act of violence committed by some unknownstranger who has never been caught to this day. How do we know that?You listened to all of the evidence. We saw it was a very attentive jury listening to every singlewitness. Anastasia made a mistake. She got out of the car where she shouldn't have far from home in a fit of rage and tried to walk back through the cemeteries, back to familiar areas, and she was caught alone in adeserted dark cemetery alone, unarmed. She made a mistake.And the prosecutors are up here arguing, well, she never would have got herself in this position bygetting out in that area. She wouldn't have tried to walk through a dark cemetery. Anastasia that eveningwasn't being calm, cool, and reflective.Page 1189Of course she would never done that if she were calm, cool or reflective. This happened in a fit of rage.She got out of the car in a fit of rage. She isn't thinking where I'm at. She isn't thinking to herself there is nobody at home to call for a ride. The jury heard that evidence. She realizes that after she is out of the car, sure. But it happened in a fit of rage.She tries to take the shortcut, and she made a mistake, because she was alone unarmed, young teen-age girl. I think, if you look at the map, you can see what happened.She gets out of the car right here at the stoplight at 435, and she starts walking east. And you cansee this is a vain attempt to take a shortcut to somewhere. You've heard the testimony. Nobody at home tocall.She is found shot dead right here in Lincoln Cemetery. Is this a vain attempt at a shortcut to cutthrough that cemetery back to Mount Washington, perhaps even Dairy Queen, which was over here at 24Highway at the exit of Mount Washington.Page 1190The people at Dairy Queen were friendly to her that night. They helped her get a sanitary napkin.They let her use the pay phone numerous times. Let her hang out at Dairy Queen.
 
Is this a vain attempt to cut through the cemeteries or get to Dairy Queen? She never made it. Shewas the victim of a stranger who has never been caught. This is still an unsolved crime. That's a hurdle thatI understand the jury has to get over to reach the proper verdict here.It's not a comfortable verdict, because, if you vote not guilty, you're saying we don't know who didit. There is no closure.Do you understand the psychological term closure? Everybody wants closure and wants to knowwhat happened. That makes it easy to wrap up.To vote not guilty, you have to get over that hurdle. There is no closure in this case. This case hasnever been solved. The gun has never been found.Page 1191Nobody knows who that unknown stranger was or if he was tying to rape her or rob her or whathappened. It could have been a robbery. One witness thought Anastasia was carrying a brown purse thatnight. She is found in Lincoln Cemetery later, there is no brown purse there.There are little clues here. There is no reason to disbelieve it couldn't have been a random attempt ata rape or a robbery.The contact wound. Whoever confronted her in the cemetery, the gun went off right against her face. Does that sound like somebody who is tying to rob her or rape her?The time passage. The time passage is one of the keys in the case, because it's not just an unsolvedcrime. It goes unsolved for three years. And all the people in the car that night are being interviewed and re-interviewed. All the friends like Abraham Kneisley are being interviewed. So this allows Kelly to come upwith this idea.Everybody familiar with this case begins to realize the police aren't solving this case. They've never had a suspect. They've never had evidence. They've never had the gun.Page 1192The passage of time over three years allows Kelly Moffett to begin to formulate this idea that, youknow, the police have no idea what happened. The police have no clues, literally, of what happened here. Ican come up with any story.So how can she come up with that kind of a bizarre story? So I'm going to ask the jury to get insideKelly Moffett's head. We're going to go in Kelly Moffett's mind and crawl around in there and find outwhat's going on in the brain of Kelly Moffett, okay?And I think what you're going to find is there are really two Kelly Moffetts. Let's talk about the twoKelly Moffetts. Here is the first Kelly Moffett. "I'm a crack addict, alcoholic. I've ruined my life. I got to goto rehab and psych counseling. I've just totally ruined my life, and I have no excuse. I'm just a screw-up.I'm a total screw-up. My family has forbidden me to go to the family home." That's one Kelly Moffett.Page 1193Here is the other Kelly Moffett. "I'm a crack addict and an alcoholic, but wait. I have an excuse. I'ma victim here. I'm a victim here. I saw a brutal murder. Now I have an excuse. I'm not a worthless personthat ruined my life. I saw a brutal murder. It ruined my life. Take me back in the family. It's not my fault."That's the second Kelly Moffett.
 
Now, if you have a choice, which Kelly Moffett are you going to be? She played a game on her  parents. Drug addicts are very manipulative. They'll do anything to get money out of people, to get thedrugs. Lie to people. You heard that's the history here. Until finally she burned all her bridges with thefamily, because she lied to them that many times.She would lie where she was at, if she was still using drugs. They had to bar her from the familyhome. And when she gets around to the story to start saying she may have seen the murder, even though shehas told the police repeatedly for years it's obvious she didn't see the murder, nobody knows who did thismurder. It's an unsolved crime.Page 1194She finally comes around, "I got to get back to my parents. Sympathy from my parents." So shestarts with some excuse. "Brutalized by this murder. Traumatic to me. I saw Justin do it." That's her firststory. "I saw Justin do it." That's not just a short story either.According to the mother, this went on for months. Did she go with that story for a few days or a fewweeks or for months? For months she tried to create the impression it's not my fault I'm a crack addict. Isaw Justin commit the murder. I was brutalized that way.But the parents don't immediately accept her back. So she has to change the story. She washomeless at the time. And I hope you caught that point. I asked the question to the mother, Debbie Moffett.Was it after she had been barred from your home, she was homeless? Was it after all that she started sayingshe saw the murder?Page 1195The answer was yes. She is very manipulative and her parents bought it hook, line, and sinker. Weasked Debbie Moffett on the stand, "Do you think Kelly Moffett's life was ruined by witnessing ahomicide?""Oh, yes." And she is welcomed back into the family home, and you have a lot of sympathy for her.But there are little clues in there that she is not even telling the truth, like psych counseling. She says shewent to psych counseling. But I asked her, "Did you ever tell one of your counselors you saw a murder?""No."The game she is playing is on her parents to get back, sympathy and attention. The counselor, if they're to help you through problems and that's your main problem, how could that be your main problemwhen you never told any of your counselors you saw a murder? That's where the problem would start. Butthat is not who she is trying to impress, her counselor.And what's the other side issue here? Did she have an axe to grind with Byron Case? This is a manshe admitted she once loved him. She once told him repeatedly she loved him.Page 1196After their stormy relationship and breakup, she tries to get back with him. That's Byron'simpression. But he's moved on by then. He has other girlfriends. He doesn't want to get back. Does shehave an axe to grind there? Is that just another side issue?The story that Kelly Moffett comes up with in September of 2000 when she finally comes to the police and says, "Wait a minute. I saw this murder." Total opposite of what she said before.She says that they had this plot to murder someone. They come pick her up, they have a plot tomurder someone, they ask for her help. As the prosecutor used, the word absurd, we'll go with that for 

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