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Cesar Laurean Closing Arguments

08/23/2010

We have listened to six days of testimony and today we will hear the closing arguments.  I can’t say I have been overly impressed with the prosecution.  To me, they were lackluster and missing the passion  in their presentation that we usually expect from prosecutors.

Dick McNeil did a credible job considering how little the defense had to work with.  His major focus was to convince the jury that Maria was considered a liar, was bi-polar and lived in a fantasy world.  True or not, it isn’t a reason for murder and it doesn’t take away the violent manner in which she and her unborn baby died!

Judge W. Osmond Smith didn’t allow the defense much leeway in trashing the victim.

Dewey and Lee are splitting the closing argument for the state with McNeil’s closing in between.  It will be interesting to see how each is handled because I went back and reviewed  the opening arguments and Dewey spent a whopping 6:25 minutes versus McNeil’s 20:06 minutes!

Ernie Lee actually comes out swinging this morning.  He is very animated and begins in a very forceful voice speaking of frantic worry and concern that Mary Lauterbach experienced for 28 days – from her last phone call with her daughter to her body being found.

Lee says Laurean knew Maria accused him of rape and it was being investigated.  He was more concerned with getting his career back on track than he was with Maria’s life.

He talks about Maria purchasing the bus ticket to El Paso and her wanting to know if she could leave her car in the parking lot.  Why?  Because was she getting a ride with Laurean?  Did she believe they were going to Mexico together?

He goes through the purchase of the cinder blocks and the building of the fire pit.  He talks about Laurean trying to withdraw money from Maria’s bank account.

Lee asserts that Laurean was driving Maria’s car around in late December to create a façade, the impression that Maria was still alive!

Why was she in the garage?  Was she looking at baby items?  Like we saw in the garage pictures?  Does he decide to get rid of his problem?  Does he strike her and blood gets on the baby clothes and he buries those in he fire pit also?

He keeps the façade up, claiming he received flowers from Maria at the end of December, but he never produced them.

Lee talks about all the blood in the garage and the apparent attempt to cleanup the crime scene.

He speaks to the brute strength needed to swing the crowbar so hard that the front and back of the skull separated.

Lee does a good job of taking Christina out of the equation.

I do expect that McNeil will still try to throw her under the bus in his closing.

Lee takes the jury through several of the laws they can consider.

Judge calls for a recess – Ernie Lee’s closing ran about 50 minutes.

Dick McNeil begins by thanking the jury for their patience and their service.  He reminds the jury the burden of proof rests with the State.  He says the decisions they make will last with them for the rest of their lives.

McNeil says there is a lot of pain in the court for both the families.  He indicates that he, in no way, was trying to denagrade the memory of Maria Lauterbach by discussing her untruthfulness.

He says that State has to prove that Laurean swung the crowbar and it was premeditated, but there are too many unanswered questions in this case.

McNeil talks about how highly thought of Laurean was by his superiors – an obvious career Marine.

He talks about the alleged rape and how the 7-month investigation did not result in any charges brought against Laurean.

McNeil asks why Maria made the false allegation against Laurean?  She claims she was raped in March and April, but the mid-wife testified he last period was in May so conception occurred in May!

He says the people who claim they saw Lauterbach and Laurean together have to be mistaken.  All the Marines who testified said they never saw them together after the MPO was issued.

He says their phones and computers didn’t provide any link between the two of them.  And can you believe that Laurean would have really told Costa, another Marine, he had consensual sex with Maria and was going to send her to Mexico so she would Be UA and that would discredit her with the Marines.

The defense brought out Maria’s lying, but in no way equates that to murder.  She was a very troubled, disturbed, and depressed young woman.  The note left for Dan Durham shows a depressed young woman.

Ask yourselves, how did she know where Laurean lived?  Why did she go there?  He did she confront?  Did she argue with somebody?

The State wants you believe that Cesar Laurean swung the crowbar.  But, what about the young wife?  Don’t you think she would be angry knowing about the rape allegation and the pregnancy?  The State wants you to believe the wife couldn’t strike the blow.  In a rage, it’s possible.

There was no DNA from Laurean on the crowbar.  The State would have you believe Laurean wiped it down.  That’s just not possible as there was mixed DNA on the crowbar.

You have to ask yourself, did Cesar Laurean strike Lauterbach?  Was it premeditated?

There are far too many questions unanswered in this case.

The actions after the incident show panic, not guilt.

So, pretty much the defense was all about “reasonable doubt” via tossing Christina under the bus!

Judge calls another recess which means if WRAL does their usual routine of yanking the feed for news at noon, we will miss a bunch of Hudson’s closing!

Dewey Hudson says Maria would love to tell about that day.  That she’d love to be here with her family.  She would love to tell you about what happened the day she was murdered, but she can’t, so the evidence will speak for her.

She’d tell you that Cesar Laurean swung that crowbar murdering her and her unborn baby.

Laurean abandoned his family, the Marines, his country.

This trial is like a jigsaw puzzle and you the jury have to put the pieces together.   When the pieces come together, it points to the guilt of Cesar Laurean.

He describes Laurean’s fleeing – “hiding in Mexico like a rat”!

The defense wants you to think it could have been the wife.  It could have been the mother, the father, or the sisters; they didn’t want to see him in trouble.  It could have been Elvis!

Why would Cesar Laurean flee?  Why did he abandon his wife and baby?  Why did he leave such a mess for them?  Honey I love you, but you explain the dead body in the backyard.

Hudson explains that the defense wants you to think the wife could have done it, but we told you how she cooperated with the investigation from the beginning. If the wife did it, why didn’t she flee to Mexico?

Now a red herring is a stinky, smelly fish that hunters use to train their dogs.  Mr. McNeil has given you a red herring to chase.

He brings up the witness who said they saw Maria at the Christmas party at 6:30-7:00.  She was either lying or mistaken.  No one else saw her at the party.  And, if Maria had just left a note saying she was leaving, why would she be hanging out at a party?

Laurean is in a pickle.  If that baby was born and he was the father, he lied to his superiors; he committed adultery.  He’s in a pickle either way.

Hudson calls Laurean a coward, saying that only a “coward,” would hit a pregnant woman in the back of the head with a crowbar.

Hudson says the body is hidden at the house for two days.  She was killed on Friday and it was Sunday when he went to Lowe’s.

And, thank you WRAL for dropping the feed!  Grrrrrrrr…..

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