Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cutts trial has striking similarities to Prade case

I've heard folks comparing Bobby Cutts and Doug Prade for months. Considering both are police officers charged with committing murder (serious and unique for sure), I can see where folks would make comparisons. Still, I didn't find many actual similarities -- until the trial began.

Oddly enough, in both cases we have a bite mark that's come in to play. When it comes to the victims, both women had close daily ties to their mothers, who now are raising their orphaned children.

Also in both cases, the defendant mandated his right to take the stand and testify. It may work out that that decision leads to both men getting the maximum conviction.

In Prade's case, he not only took the stand to state his version of the facts (in his case his alibi), he also wanted to debate the bite mark to the point of demonstrating how his upper dentures popping out. Jurors later told me that that was the moment that convinced them he was guilty.

Now comes Cutts. Like Prade, he too not only mandates that he get on the stand but ends up providing the additional details that would seem to sink his ship. Rather than just explain his version of Jessie's accidental death and provide a simple account of why he panicked and dumped her body, Cutts volunteered additional details -- such as why he washed his car after leaving the woods and why he stopped at a grocery store -- that did nothing but give jurors more reason to convict him.

I'll be interested in seeing what the jurors say -- if they speak publicly -- about whether Bobby's excessive testimony brought them to convict him in the same way Prade's testimony did him in.

Unlike the Prade case, this is a capital murder case .. so if convicted of the most serious charge, we'll end up having a second trial later this month to determine whether Cutts deserves the death penalty. That would also likely bring a return of the gag order so we wouldn't have any reaction from relatives, jurors, or attorneys.

Prosecutors are delivering their closing arguments right now .. with the defense set to go later this morning. Jurors will get instructions after lunch and then begin deliberations. I've got my car gassed up so I can fly down to the courthouse as an additional reporter to Chris Tye on the case.

1 comment:

Buck said...

I agree. I think Cutts did himself in. A trained police officer didn't realize to call 911? He had no problem using his phone several other times that night. Who uses bleach to try to wake somebody up? Prosecutors say Jesse died from a choke but the jaw was missing from the corpse?

You have to hit somebody pretty hard with an elbow to the throat to knock them out dead.