Updated 11/13/2006 08:50 PM
Defense rests case in Wayne Oxley murder trial
After becoming visibly upset Thursday when the judge made a ruling in favor of the prosecution, a packed courtroom Monday watched a more relaxed Oxley take the stand.
Prosecutors in this North Country murder trial have waited twice as long as originally anticipated to cross-examine the man they believe beat his neighbor, Bernard Trickey, with a baseball bat back in August 2005.
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When the district attorney asked Oxley if he recognized a picture of a bat police found in his basement one day after the murder Oxley said, "I do not know if it's my bat, but my DNA is on it, so I assume it's my bat."
But when the actual bat was held in front of him, he said it was his, but he had not used it in 15 years. In direct testimony Thursday, Oxley told his defense attorney John Shannon borrowed his bat.
Shannon died in an unexplained house fire one month after Trickey was killed. Oxley testified he wrote a February 28 letter to defense witness Jennifer Richie, asking her to testify on his behalf because, "She had heard John Shannon say he was going to rob and kill Bernard Trickey."
Prosecutors read a portion of that letter where Oxley wrote to Richie, "I don't care if you make something up."
Oxley said he was begging for her help.
The defense then called 14 more correctional officers to the stand. They all denied seeing Oxley and inmate Jamin Haggart in a cell together. In previous weeks, Haggart has provided damaging testimony that Oxley confessed the crime to him in jail.
The prosecution has now taken the trial back into their hands and are calling five rebuttal witnesses to the stand Tuesday. The judge expects a charge conference Tuesday and closing arguments Wednesday.