Both sides rest in capital murder trial
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Monday the capital murder trial of Mona Nelson after both sides wrapped up testimony on Friday.
Prosecutors have wrapped up their case against Nelson, accused of killing 12-year-old Jonathan Foster in December 2010. Witnesses and testimony for the prosecution lasted for 10 days. The defense put on their case in less than two hours.
For two weeks Mona Nelson has sat quietly at the defense table, listening to the state make its case against her. She's accused of abducting Jonathan on Christmas Eve three years ago. His burned body was found later, wrapped in carpet, discarded in a ditch.
Nelson told police she dumped the contents of a garbage can there, but claimed not to know that they included the boy's remains.
After the state rested its case, the defense called a handful of witnesses, including a woman who knew Nelson and claimed that she and a friend were drunk at their apartment complex at the same time Jonathan was abducuted.
On cross-examination, Mary Whitt testified, "I kicked it with them. ... I wasn't drinking."
Prosecutor: "How long were you there with them?"
Whitt: "The whole time."
Prosecutor: "So you don't recall telling police that you saw them once at 12:30 and again at 2:30?"
Prosecutor: "So you didn't tell police you'd been with the defendant for five hours?"
Prosecutor: "You've been convicted of felonies nine times in the past, haven't you?"
Whitt: "Maybe, but I'm changed today."
Final arguments will begin on Monday, then the case will be turned over to the judge. It is a bench trial and there is no jury. The judge will render the verdict.
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local, deborah wrigley
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