Written by Heather Garner Wednesday, 15 February 2017 08:01
The second day in the trial of David Hutchins was held in Judge Jenifer Holt’s courtroom yesterday.
Hutchins is accused of murdering his wife’s boyfriend, Christopher Timberlake on Thanksgiving, 2014. Opening statements were given to a jury of seven men and seven women yesterday to begin the trial at 3 p.m. Jackson County District Attorney Jason Pierce began opening by explaining to jurors that on Thanksgiving, 2014 a man, Christopher Timberlake, lost his life at the hand of his best friend and cousin. Pierce explained to jurors that it was a “love triangle.” He explained that Hutchins and Timberlake raised their children together. Nicole Timberlake, Christopher’s wife, had filed for divorce approximately one month prior to the incident. Tanya Hutchins, David’s wife, had left David approximately one week prior to the incident. Pierce explained to the jury that Hutchins was upset, and that the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving the three had gotten together to discuss the situation. At the end, they all agreed that Tanya was an adult and could choose who she wanted to be with. Following their conversation David and Christopher left the resident together. Davise, Hutchins daughter, wanted her mother to come over on Thanksgiving. At 8 p.m. Tanya and Timberlake went to the Hutchins residence. Tanya went into the home to child’s bedroom. Within seconds Tanya hears a scuffle and a loud noise and runs out to find Timberlake’s feet inside the door of the residence and his body lying outside. According to Pierce, Hutchins said to Tanya, “I told you he wouldn’t get you” and he leaves. Pierce explained that the victim was shot once in the arm and once in the back of the head. Pierce warned jurors to be aware throughout the trial. He stated, “Stay focused” “Was there a legal defense?” “The answer is no. The defendant intended to impose the death sentence on the victim.”
Defense Attorney Parker Edmiston opened by stating that his client is charged with murder, however the evidence would show that he is not guilty. In 2014, he stated his client had to defend himself. Edmiston described Hutchins as a North Jackson High School graduate, who couldn’t read or write. He further described Hutchins as being a man who worked labor jobs to provide for his family. Hutchins raised three boys prior to having a daughter with his wife Tanya. He went on to explain that Hutchins and Timberlake were cousins, whose grandmothers were sisters. In the weeks leading up to the events on Thanksgiving, Edmiston stated that Tanya went to her mother’s. When Hutchins checked, his wife was not at her mother’s. Tanya was with Timberlake. Hutchins became suspicious and tried to call Tanya, who would not answer the phone. On Tuesday prior to the event Hutchins and his daughter visited Tanya at work. She admitted her relationship with Timberlake. Hutchins still begged Tanya to come home. Hutchins met Timberlake on Mill Town Circle, where he resided, Timberlake’s mother resided just two doors down.
Edmiston stated that Tanya will testify that everything was fine. However, evidence will show that it was not fine. On Thanksgiving Day, according to Edmiston, Tanya and Timberlake went to Timberlake’s mother’s home. Timberlake’s family was not happy because Timberlake was still married. Timberlake’s child became upset because he brought his daughter. “People put themselves in dangerous situations, where your actions can be mistaken,” said Edmiston. Timberlake and Tanya later went to Wal-Mart where they ran into Nicole’s family, Chris’s wife. Nichole chased them from Walmart in Scottsboro to Stevenson, trying to run them off the road. Timberlake went to the Stevenson Police Department and made a report. Edmiston stated that when the two arrived at Hutchins’ home, no one invited Timberlake in. Actually Timberlake stated, “Maybe I shouldn’t go in.” Tanya told him to get down to his moms. Tanya knocked on her door and walked to her daughter’s room. Timberlake walks in and says “What’s up mother …[expletive]” with something in his hand. Edmiston stated that Timberlake always carried a gun and evidence will show that during the one prior disagreement Hutchins and Timberlake previously had, Timberlake walked out and got a gun from his car. “Is it reasonable for the defendant to be in fear of someone who always carries a gun? “ Edmiston stated to jurors, “You don’t have to wait in your home for someone to shoot at you.” Edmiston stated that Hutchins immediately went to the Stevenson Police Department, he arrived within one minute of the 911 call.
Day 2 - 02/14/17
District Attorney Jason Pierce called the State’s first witness, Deputy Sammy Smith. Smith was previously employed with the City of Stevenson as a police officer. Smith stated that he was contacted and radioed to Mill Town Circle in Stevenson in reference to a shooting call at approximately 8:06 p.m. on Thanksgiving, 2014. Smith testified that it took him about five minutes to arrive. Upon arrival he described the scene as very chaotic. He witnessed approximately five people on the porch. Smith stated the victim was lying at the doorway with one foot inside the door and the remainder of his body on the porch. Smith stated that paramedics and responders were waiting for the scene to be cleared. A photo was shown to jurors of the victim’s body lying on the porch. Smith stated that several individuals were yelling and screaming and a female was performing CPR. Smith stated that he immediately secured the weapon that was lying on the porch.
Parker Edmiston cross examined Smith, who testified that after securing the weapon, he cleared the scene by entering the house. He stated that he went into the master bedroom of the home and saw a gun cabinet. He went into Davice’s room. In her room was an aquarium built into the wall, allowing you to see through to the living room. A 410 shotgun shell was found under the Christmas tree. Smith stated that he never escorted anyone to the vehicle outside. He testified that he was the only uniform officer on duty that night in Stevenson. He further stated that Officer McCamey, who also came to the scene, did not come up on the porch. He stated that he handed the shotgun to him over the porch rail. Smith testified that he saw no one go inside the white vehicle while he was on the scene.
During redirect, Pierce questioned Smith regarding the finding of a nickel or chrome pistol. Smith stated that he initially was told to look for a chrome or nickel pistol, which he never found.
During re-cross Edmiston questioned Smith regarding his time on the scene. Smith stated that he was on scene for approximately 20 minutes prior to Eric Woodall, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office lead investigator, arriving on scene. Smith testified that he did not make a report or take notes that night. However, he did write a statement for Woodall. Smith stated that he was on scene for 1 ½ - 2 hours before returning to Stevenson Police Department. Smith testified he was not present for Hutchins questioning. He stated that he went to Stevenson Police Department, went to restroom, immediately left and went back out. Smith stated that he sat in his car at the park to do the report.
The State’s second witness of the day was Tanya Hutchins. Tanya stated that she is still legally married to Hutchins. The two were married in 1999 and separated for the final time on November 23, 2014. Together the two share a 13-year-old daughter, Davice. Tanya testified that Timberlake was her best friend. He came to the Hutchins home daily beginning in 2003-2004. Tanya stated that she and David were close to Chris and Nicole. They were at the house daily, and ate together. Tanya testified that in the years she had known the two men, there had only been one prior conflict, approximately a year before in the Hutchins home. Tanya testified that she, Hutchins, Timberlake and Lopez were all present. She stated that the conflict was over money. She stated that Timberlake tapped a gun over and over and said “just give me my money and we don’t have to be friends anymore.” Lopez took him out of the house. Tanya stated that Timberlake didn’t threaten Hutchins. Tanya stated it was never a gun pointing incident.
She went on to say that when she was pregnant and wasn’t working, Timberlake was at their home every day. She stated that Hutchins was aware and never expressed concern. However, in 2008 relationship became physical. According to Tanya, Nicole and Hutchins were aware. And the relationship continued over the years. Tanya stated that Hutchins was aware it continued because she would leave and he wouldn’t fuss with her as long as she came home. The last time she decided to leave was the weekend before thanksgiving. Tanya stated she was aware Nicole had filed for divorce. She testified that Timberlake did not take her from Hutchins, she was leaving regardless. She stated that she knew she wouldn’t go back this time. She didn’t go to her mother’s; she went to Timberlake’s. Timberlake knew she was tired. Tanya said that when she left she took hygiene products and alarm clock and went to Keith Humphrey’s house with Chris. She left her daughter at the house with her dad, her daughter didn’t want to leave her daddy and she [Tanya] understood. Tanya stated she told Hutchins she was leaving. He would say “There’s no need in leaving.” She said she left on Sunday and went to work on Monday. Tanya testified that Hutchins came to her work on Monday at lunch. He tried to contact her via phone but she was not answering. She stated she didn’t answer because there was nothing to talk about. When he came to her at lunch she walked to his car, she talked to a special needs worker who was behind her and not Hutchins. Tuesday David came back to her job on lunch. She sat in the car with him. She opened arm rest and there was a pistol. She asked why he had it and he didn’t answer. Tanya testified that the pistol was normally kept in a box in his gun cabinet.
Tanya stated that she went to the Hutchins home on Tuesday. She stated she spent a moment with her daughter before Hutchins came in and tried to convince her to come home. She told him she didn’t come there for that but he kept on. Tanya stated she then went to Hutchins car to check for the gun. She took the gun out and took it with her. Tanya stated she saw Hutchins again at the home on Wednesday. She met Timberlake and Hutchins at the Hutchins’ home. She stated that when she first arrived, no one was there. Timberlake and Hutchins were at Timberlake’s mother’s home working on stairs. Timberlake told Tanya that he didn’t want to cause problems and maybe she should work things out with Hutchins. Tanya stated that she explained she was not going to be with Hutchins and there was no making it work. She stated that Hutchins said “He’s not going to take you from me.” She further explained that she was leaving on her own free will. Hutchins told the two that he would try to get along and make it work. Tanya stated that Hutchins and Timberlake left together to go pick up Davise.
Tanya testified that on Thursday she and Timberlake went to his mother’s home and stayed there until Old Navy opened. They then went to Old Navy and stopped at Walmart on the way back. While in Walmart Timberlake saw his son and his in-laws. Nicole called Timberlake and said she was in the parking lot. Before they left she was “on their tail,” according to Tanya. Nicole was trying to run them off the highway. During the chase Timberlake was on the phone asking Nichole to stop acting that way. Nicole left and the two went to the Stevenson Police Department and made a report. The two then returned to Timberlake’s mother’s home. Tanya testified that Timberlake and she smoked marijuana daily but it only relaxed them. It never made Timberlake angry or aggressive.
Tanya stated that she had been in contact with Davise that day. Timberlake drove her to the Hutchins home in his car. The two parked on the side of the road and got out of the vehicle. Tanya said that Timberlake said “I probably shouldn’t have driven you down here.” He then said, “I probably shouldn’t go in.” Tanya stated that she told Timberlake to go back to his mom’s and she’d be there in a minute. She said she went to the door of the Hutchins home and went in. Timberlake came in behind her. Tanya described walking in and seeing Hutchins leaning behind the bar. Hutchins told her she didn’t have to knock on the door. Tanya stated she continued into Davice’s room. When she went in Davice’s was lying across her bed. Tanya sat down on the bed with her and asked what she was doing. Tanya testified that she heard Timberlake say “What you been doing today Blooky?” She then heard Timberlake say “No man No! “Tanya testified that she could see the two men close to each other through the aquarium and heard a pop. She ran into the living room yelling, “What are y’all doing?” Tanya testified that she only saw white for a moment. She then recalled Hutchins looking at her and saying, “I told you he wasn’t going to take you from me.” Tanya says she then collapsed near Timberlake’s body. Tanya then stated that Hutchins leaned against the porch with the gun in his hands. She stated Hutchins then stated he was going to turn himself in and he left. She then had Davice call 911, while she attempted CPR. She testified that she didn’t know he had been shot at the time. She then had Davice go to Chris’s mother’s home and tell them what happened. Tanya stated she stood on the porch until she was escorted off. She went to the passenger side of Timberlake’s vehicle, to take her purse from the front seat. She also attempted to retrieve the handgun, she previously had taken from Hutchins car out of the console of Timberlake’s car. Tanya stated she was allowed to remove her purse but not the handgun. She testified that she later saw someone, either an investigator or a policeman, to walk away with a shotgun. Tanya testified that she used towels to try to maintain the amount of blood coming from Timberlake’s body.
After getting her purse she gave officer McCamey a statement and was then placed in a police car. Later she was taken to the Stevenson Police Department where photos were taken and her clothes were collected. During her testimony photographs were admitted of Tanya with blood on her hands, shoes and clothing. The 911 call was also admitted into evidence. During the call a female voice is heard begging the victim to wake up. The operator walked the caller through chest compressions. The caller then exclaims, “I think he’s been shot in the back of the Head.”
Edmiston began Cross examination of Tanya immediately after lunch. Tanya admitted that she had an adulterous affair with Timberlake from 2008 until 2014. Edmiston questioned how Nicole felt regarding the relationship. Tanya admitted that it was clear on Thanksgiving that Nicole did not accept their relationship. Tanya stated that Nicole was saying “Ya’ll bitches is going to die tonight.” Alyssa, Timberlake’s daughter, was distraught about the relationship. Tanya stated that Denise Howard, Timberlake’s mother, was also against the relationship. Tanya stated that Hutchins called, crying and begging her to come home several times. Tanya stated that when she left, she did not tell Hutchins where she would be staying. She testified that more or less, it was known to them that they were in a dangerous situation. Tanya testified that she refused to somewhat answer Hutchins’ phone calls to the days leading up to Thanksgiving. She stated that Hutchins told her he did not want her to leave during the meeting they had on Wednesday prior to the Thanksgiving. Tanya stated “All he would say is, “He’s not going to take you from me.” Tanya said she told Hutchins, “Wherever Baby (Timberlake) is going to be is where I am going to be.” Tanya testified that she put the gun in her personal car and put it in Timberlake’s car on Thanksgiving, prior to going to the Hutchins home.
Tanya testified that on January 12, 2016, during a previous court proceeding. She admitted that during that testimony the one previous argument by Timberlake and Hutchins was discussed. During that testimony she stated that the gun was pointed at Hutchins. However, she stated she felt that she didn’t’ listen to the question well enough at that time. She further testified that approximately a year prior, during the incident she spoke of regarding money, it was actually because Hutchins had told Timberlake he needed to be at his own house, where his wife was cooking him supper, not over a money issue. Tanya stated Timberlake went outside and came back in and told Hutchins, “If you have something to say, just say it.” Tanya went on to say, “Having an affair can be exhausting, people get hurt.” Tanya said Timberlake told her that he would stay there so late because it hurt him to know that when he left he knew she would be going to bed with her husband. Tanya testified that she did not let Hutchins know that she was coming to the house on Thanksgiving. She stated that the phone she used to communicate with Davice that day was Chris’s phone. Tanya testified that during the incident on Thanksgiving, she never saw Timberlake with a weapon. Tanya testified that when Smith arrived, she believed Davice was standing in the house and she could only remember Howard (Timberlake’s) Stepfather on the porch with her. Photo evidence of blood on Timberlake’s car was admitted by the Defense.
Pierce then called witness Shannon Brewster who has been in law enforcement for 27 years to the stand. Brewster stated that he was called to speak with Hutchins. Hutchins was at the Stevenson Police Department when he arrived. He initially read Hutchins his rights and took a statement. Brewster explained that he takes a statement, writes it out and then re-reads it word for word to the person giving the statement. The statement given by Hutchins stated, “Yesterday I noticed my pistol was missing from my gun cabinet. It had a clip in it. Me and my wife have been split up. Yesterday Chris’s wife called and told me Tanya and Chris were messing around. Tanya came home about 1 or 2 o’clock. Tonight I was home with my daughter, Davice, I was laying on the couch. Chris busted through the door with my gun, and said ‘Hey mother…[expletive].’ I dove into my bedroom and grabbed my 410. I pointed and shot, Chris ducked down and popped back up and I shot again. When Chris went down Tanya started saying, No Chris, Chris. I said, What about me? I said I’ll just go down there and turn myself in. When I walked outside my gun was laying at the door. When I drove down here I told Darren I had just shot someone. Me and Chris are second cousins, but we’re more like brothers. “
Brewster pointed out areas on the statement where corrections were made. Which included, Tanya being behind him (Chris) and removing “What’s up” and replacing with “Hey”
During cross examination Brewster testified that the statement began at 9:29 p.m. and ended at 10:09 p.m. During that time, he wrote a summary. Brewster testified that even though he went to the crime scene he did not follow up on the facts of the statement by Hutchins.
Pierce called Captain Eric Woodall to the stand this afternoon. Woodall is the lead investigator in the case. He testified that he responded to a call on Mill Town Circle arrived around 8:45. Upon arrival he saw several people in the roadway. Tanya was standing in the roadway and stood out to him because she was covered in blood and staring aimlessly. Woodall stated that he had a deputy place her into a patrol vehicle. Woodall then went onto the porch where he observed Timberlake’s body. Woodall stated that when the Coroner arrived, he went through the victim’s pockets. Items found in his pockets included a cellphone, wallet and a checkbook. Woodall testified that once the coroner places a body into a body bag a numbered seal is placed on the bag before Forensics receives it so show that the body has not been tampered with. Woodall testified that later that evening he went to the Stevenson Police Department where he again read Hutchins his rights and took a statement from him. Woodall explained that because Hutchins had stated his gun was there when he left, and they did not find it they took a statement. “I had no idea Baby was coming over. When he came in first he said Hey mother… [expletive]. I seen something in his hand, could have been a cellphone. I got the gun from the gun cabinet. After the second shot he went down. My mind may have been playing tricks on me especially when I knew my wife had taken it. “Around 7 my wife called my daughter and told her she would be here soon. When Baby busted in, I was shocked.”
During cross examination Woodall stated that he later learned from Brewster that a firearm was seen in Timberlake’s hand and was on the floor when Hutchins left the home according to Hutchins. He stated that Hutchins had claimed self defense all along. Woodall stated he recalls the self defense part but nothing about him being in fear for his life. When he learned of the possibility of second handgun Woodall stated they searched the area for the hand gun. He testified that later he asked Tanya regarding the guns. However, that night he did not question her regarding the whereabouts of a handgun. Woodall stated that Hutchins was not made aware that they had recovered a handgun from Timberlake’s car. He told Hutchins that his gun was not found where he said the gun was at. Woodall stated that throughout his investigation, he has found no evidence that Timberlake told Hutchins he was coming over. Woodall admitted that another phone was found in Timberlake’s car when it was searched in impound. Woodall stated that he did not see any uniform officer give Tanya access to retrieve items, or tell her not to retrieve items. Woodall stated the he could not explain Tanya’s testimony that an officer was there with her when she went to retrieve the handgun.
Day 3 - 02/15/17
Wednesday morning’s testimony began with that of Lilly Harper, an employee of the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences who is the Forensics Biology Chief at the Huntsville Laboratory. Harper testified that she has been with the department for over 27 years. Pierce requested that she be considered an expert in Forensic Biology. Harper testified that she received evidence on February 23, 2015 from Investigator Eric Woodall. Harper stated that the items were received to determine the presence of any blood evidence on the item. In this case Harper was referring to two handguns. Harper testified that she swabbed the guns to see if there were any stains she couldn’t visually see. Harper testified that the test was negative on both items. Harper testified that the test is very sensitive for diluted blood.
Edmiston cross examined Harper. During cross examination, Harper stated she could not testify to anything that happened to the guns prior to her receiving the items. Harper testified that the history that she was given included, “Suspect David Hutchins shot and killed Christopher Timberlake.”
Edmiston questioned Harper regarding the possibility of someone handling a gun and blood not transferring. Harper testified that there are many variables that would determine that fact.
The State’s second witness of the day was Nicole Timberlake. Nicole testified that she and Timberlake have three children together. The two had been together for 16 years and married for eight at the time of the incident. Nicole testified that at times Timberlake carried a gun, but normally in his car. She stated that she never saw him pull the gun. Nicole testified that Timberlake’s marijuana use never made him aggressive, and it relaxed him. Nicole stated that the four (she, Timberlake, Hutchins and Tanya) were close and spent a lot of time together. At some point, according to Nicole, their relationship deteriorated. About 4 years prior to this incident she found Timberlake’s cell phone in the car. Nicole testified that she read cell phone messages from Tanya and called Hutchins and told him about it. He told Nicole not to say anything to them about finding the messages. However, Hutchins called and confronted Tanya. Nicole never confronted Tanya. Nicole said she knew the affair persisted. She viewed cell phone records of calls lasting 20-30 minutes.
In 2014 Nicole filed for divorce. Nicole testified she was tired of Timberlake not being home and was tired of being unhappy. Nicole said that Hutchins came to her house Monday prior to Thanksgiving. Hutchins told her Tanya didn’t come home, and he thought she was with Timberlake. Nicole stated that she told Hutchins that Timberlake had admitted to the affair. She testified that he said, “When I catch them together, I’m going to shoot both of them and kill them.” On Tuesday Hutchins called and told Nicole that he had been looking for Timberlake and Tanya. On Wednesday Hutchins called her cell phone and asked for a favor. He asked Nicole to leave early on Thursday and said he was going to hide in the ditch and when he came down the road, Hutchins was going to shoot through the window at Timberlake. Nicole told him to leave them alone. Nicole said later Wednesday night he called her and told her that he wasn’t going to do it. He was just going to file for divorce and find a woman.
Nicole said that on Thanksgiving her daughter, Alyssa called her while upset. Hutchins was saying that Tanya and her dad had come to her granny’s together and that Tanya was getting smart with her. Nicole stated that she called Timberlake and told him that Tanya was not going to be mean to her kids and that when she sees her she’s going to beat her.
She said,after getting off work she got a call that Timberlake and Tanya were at Walmart and that Tanya was making faces at Alyssa. Nicole called Timberlake and told him that she was coming to Walmart and was going to wait outside. Nicole testified that she followed him to Stevenson and was on the phone with him telling him to pull over. Tanya at some point took the phone and the two were cussing each other. Nicole testified that her anger and frustration was from the way Tanya was treating Alyssa, not jealousy.
Nicole testified that her mother called her a around 8 and told her that Hutchins had called Timberlake. Nicole said that she called Timberlake’s mom, put their baby in the car and drove straight to the scene. Nicole testified that when she arrived she stood around and spoke to family. She and Tanya had words. At one point Tanya was talking to an officer and at one point walked to Timberlake’s car. She stated that Timberlake’s step-dad stopped her from getting in the car. She witnessed Tanya walk to back passenger side and Howard [step-dad] handed her a bag.
During cross examination, Nicole stated that she testified in a stand-your-ground hearing in this matter on January 13, 2016. However, she admitted that today was the first time she testified that Hutchins ever made threats toward Timberlake. That testimony was not given at the stand your ground hearing. Nicole stated that she only answered questioned she was asked and was not being deceptive at the previous hearing. Nicole stated that she didn’t take Hutchins’ threat serious because he didn’t seem mad or irrational. Nicole stated she didn’t’ believe Hutchins would do anything, she had never seen him be violent. Nicole testified that she told no one about the threats because she didn’t believe he would do it. She stated, “People get mad and say this and that, but how many are going to do it.” Nicole stated that Tanya is lying that she said “you bitches are going to die” and that she was not trying to run them off the road. Nicole stated she said she was going to beat her ass.
Nicole further testified that Timberlake had a violent reaction when she told him she wanted a divorce. A protection order was requested a month prior. In which, Nicole alleged Timberlake threatened to beat her and threw her against the wall and pinned her by the neck against the wall.
She stated she did not care that Timberlake and Tanya were together. Timberlake denied that affair during the marriage, however, she stated she suspected the affair every day even though she tried to stay and keep her family together for her kids. Nicole said Timberlake would tell her that the messages from Tanya that said “I love you," meant she wanted her cocaine.
Davice Hutchins, the 13-year-old 8th grader at Stevenson middle school testified prior to lunch recess. Davice testified that her mom left around Thanksgiving 2014. She stated that her mom has always left. Sometimes she’d come home and her mom just wasn’t there. Davice stated that she was kind of sad that her mom left. She further testified that she knew Timberlake and he was a close part of her family. She stated her dad said that he wanted her to make him look like a different person so he could try to find them. She testified that she and her dad Would go to Hollywood, Scottsboro, Fort Payne and Huntsville looking for them. Davice talked to her mom daily after her mom left. She said that Hutchins would tell her to call and text her mom. Sometimes he would use her phone to call and text her. At some point she learned her mom was with Timberlake. She called and told her they were looking for clothes for her. On Thanksgiving day she said they called and text each other. Her mother told her that she was at Timberlake’s moms and would be over later that night. Davice said that on Thanksgiving, after dark, her mom came into her room and laid on her bed. She testified that Chris walked in and her dad shoots him. She said her mother got up and walked out and her father shot Timberlake again. She said she got up and saw headlights going out of the driveway. She told the jury that she heard her mother say,” No DADA, no!” Davice said she could see her dad standing there and then walk off. When she walked out of the room she could see Timberlake was half in the door and half on porch and that her mother was giving him CPR. Her mother then sent her to Timberlake’s mother’s home. Davice said that Tanya asked her to stay off the porch, but she went inside anyway. She testified that she never saw the shotgun or a handgun. She further explained that she had heard Hutchins say things like, “If I see him I’m going to put a bullet in him.” Davise said that growing up he always played around and never said anything serious like that. Davice stated that once the police arrived to the scene she was interviewed by a big black man and that she had gotten a jacket out of Timberlake’s car because it was cold outside.
Edmiston asked Davice if she had ever spoken to him. Davice replied no before being released.
Following the lunch recess, Edmiston withdrew his agreement to have Dr. Green deemed an expert. Edmiston argued that Green was not a licensed medical examiner, is not a licensed forensic scientists and has failed the exam five times. Edmiston stated that Green is not qualified to testify about the range of fire. He said found out that during testimony in another case she failed the exam five times.
Outside the presence of the jury the State called Dr. Valerie Green to the stand. Green testified that she is employed with Alabama Department of Forensics Sciences. She stated that her role is a State Medical Examiner and that she performs autopsies and external examinations. Green has been employed in this capacity for over 8 years. Green testified that she is currently licensed as medical doctor in Alabama and Georgia and has conducted approximately 2,000 autopsies. According to Green, a number of those have involved gunshot wounds. She services 22 north Alabama counties and had previously testified regarding forensic pathology around 50 times.
Edmiston cross examined Green. Green testified that she is not state certified in forensic pathology because there is no state certification. Took a test for American Board of Pathology and failed five times. She stated she has training in terms of how patterns of injuries are on the body but is not a ballistics expert. She stated that she failed the exam to become a certified forensic pathologist five times.
Judge Jenifer Holt declared her an expert in the field of forensic pathology. With the objection of defense.
The Jury was then brought back into the courtroom. Green testified that in November 2014, she performed an autopsy on Timberlake. Green testified that the Timberlake's body was received in a sealed condition, allowing them to know that it was not tampered with prior to their body being received. Green explained once a body is brought in and given an identification number, the photographs are performed throughout the autopsy. The body is looked at, clothing removed, if there are injuries they are identified in the external examination. Once completed, the body is x-rayed to allow them to be able to see what remains in the body. Following, the body is opened. The rib cage is removed and all organs are examined, removed, weighed and described individually. Open head and remove brain, weigh it and describe anything seen. During autopsy blood and urine is taken to perform different types of toxicology reports. During a suspected murder, fingernails are often taken. Green said she drew the conclusion that Timberlake suffered two shot gun wounds, one in the head and one in right forearm. She stated toxicology revealed presence of metabolites for marijuana.
Green identified photos of the entry and exit wounds on Timberlake’s arm as well as an x-ray photo of Timberlake’s arm showing shotgun projectiles. Green stated that it would not have been fatal. Green also identified photos of the gunshot wound to Timberlake’s head. Green testified that there is a smoother margin and a small tear as well as a large area of abrasions on the back of Timberlake’s ear. Green testified that the distance of the wound to Timberlake’s head would have been within three feet.
During cross examination by Edmiston, Green stated that she did no range of fire testing. Green testified that the scalloping on the arm wound could be caused by the pellets spreading apart. Green stated the range is determined from her looking at the injuries on the body, but based on load, manufacturer, the disbursement could be different. Green testified that the most accurate way to get range of fire is to test with the weapon used. Green stated that if the range of fire was farther than 3-4 feet the wound would have been more scalloped. However, it does not take into account the load, the gun used, or the choke on the gun used. Green testified that based on the wound on Timberlake’s arm, his arm would have been extended toward the shot. Green stated that there have been formulas published that she does not rely on to determine the range of which a gun has been shot. Green stated that she does not agree that the most accurate way to determine the range is to test the actual gun, with the actual load , or shell used.
On redirect, Green stated that she still believed the point of range was three feet.
Trial will begin again tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m
Day 4 - 02/16/17
Dancy Sullivan, a firearms and tool mark examiner with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences was the first witness this morning. Sullivan has been employed by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for 12 years. Sullivan identified a 22 shot and cardboard wad and a 410 shot shell. Sullivan stated that she can identify that the shot shells were shot from the gun previously admitted into evidence. She also confirmed that the cardboard wads are consistent with 410 wads. Sullivan testified that a distance exam was not performed by her but was performed by the medical examiner.
Sullivan testified that she could have done a distance exam if she had been asked. She stated that the same gun and ammunition would have been taken and test fired at different distances to determine. Sullivan agreed that the only way to determine the range of fire is by doing testing. According to Sullivan the recovery location on the evidence envelopes that states where the pellets were from is not accurate according to Dr. Green’s report. Sullivan further testified that each kind of ammunition can cause a different type of wound and that clothing is to be factored to determine and accurate range of fire.
“To determine accuracy, you replicate what was done at the scene,” said Sullivan. Sullivan testified that Green did not request further testing and that things could have been done differently when she was labeling envelopes.
Sullivan stated that Green had placed the wrong evidence into the wrong envelope so she had to perform an amended report.
Pierce rested the state’s case following Sullivan’s testimony.
Edmiston began the Defense’s case by recalling Eric Woodall. Woodall identified a crime evidence log. Woodall stated that the crime scene log included a spent 410 shell; a box of shells; a brown wallet; a checkbook and a cell phone. Woodall testified that the coroner placed the wallet, checkbook and cell phone on a mat after retrieving them from Timberlake’s pockets. A 380 caliber pistol and one magazine containing 8 rounds; a 9 millimeter with a clip containing 6 rounds was found in the center console of Timberlake’s vehicle at 11:37 p.m.; 410 pump gun from McCamey; another 410 shell from the chamber of the shotgun; one white iPhone belonging to Davice at 1:05 a.m. from Tanya; Hutchins clothing; and a Toyota Camry from the crime scene, that of Timberlake’s was impounded.
Woodall testified that Hutchins clothing was sent to forensics to check for blood. No blood was found on the clothing of Hutchins. He testified that Davice’s phone was completely covered in blood and that you could barely see the white through it. The phone on Timberlake’s body was clean.
Woodall stated that he does not know what happened to Timberlake’s cell phone prior to being placed in his pocket. Woodall stated that there was no mention of the black cell phone prior to clearing the scene. Woodall stated that he personally never asked Edward Howard, Timberlake’s stepfather, if he had seen the black cell phone.
Edmiston then called Shawna Thomas to the stand. Thomas is employed as a dispatcher at the Jackson County Sheriff’s office, where she has been for seven years. Thomas stated that she was working on Thanksgiving 2014. She identified a computer assisted dispatch log with information related to the call. Thomas says that if they get a call, it is her job to place the information into the caller assisted dispatch log. According to Thomas the log shows Sheriff Chuck Phillips was at the Stevenson Police Department for 115 minutes, at approximately 2:51 a.m. Hutchins was under arrest and in route to the Jail. The log shows multiple officers at the Stevenson Police Department for several hours that night. Woodall spent 140 minutes there. The log further showed Investigator Brewster was at the Stevenson Police Department around 9:01 p.m. He left and went to the scene and arrived back at 11 p.m. where he remained with Marty May for 226 minutes the log reflects that approximately 7 officers were at the Stevenson Police Department the night of the incident.
During cross examination Thomas stated that Jackson County Sheriff’s Office was not the original place call, 911 received the original call. They then called the Sheriff’s Office. At the time she believed the incident was occurring at the Stevenson Police Department. Thomas stated she received the call at 8:14 p.m. from 911.
Thomas stated that the only mention of a weapon was that there was one found on the scene and they didn’t believe there was one on the suspect.
The Defense then called Doris Hutchins. Doris testified that she had been employed at the Stevenson Police Department for 20 years. She is currently employed as the dispatch and record manager. Part of her duties include obtaining, filing and maintaining log records. Doris testified that the dispatcher on duty that night was Ryan McCarver and Sammy Smith. At 7:03 p.m. on November 27, 2014 a call was received about Timberlake and Nicole; Timberlake arrived at the Stevenson Police Department at 7:07 p.m. At 8:06 p.m. 911 advised of a call on Mill Town Circle; at 8:07 p.m. Hutchins entered the Stevenson Police Department, sat on bench and got on his cell phone; at 8:11 p.m. officers were on the scene and a weapon was secured. According to Doris’ records when Hutchins was placed in holding cell he became upset and said it was only self-defense; at 8:19 p.m. Trooper Reyes arrived at the Stevenson Police Department; at 9:05 p.m. Hutchins was taken out of the cell and placed back into the cell at 10:05 p.m. Doris testified that she is the aunt of Hutchins and knew both Hutchins and Timberlake.
The defense then called Ryan McCarver who was employed as a dispatcher at the Stevenson Police Department and is now a reserve officer with the department. McCarver testified that he did his statement while things were still fresh on his mind. McCarver stated that Hutchins told him the gun was on the porch and repeated several times that the shot was in self-defense. According to his report, Hutchins told him the man (Timberlake) came in and threw his hands up and said “Hey Man,” Hutchins told him he didn’t know what his intentions were and he shot him in self-defense. According to McCarver it takes approximately one minute to get from the Stevenson Police Department to Mill Town Circle.
Following lunch recess the defense called Trooper Reyes. Reyes testified that he heard over the radio that an offender had walked into the Stevenson Police Department and that no one could get in touch with the dispatcher so he proceeded to the department to check on him. He stated that when he walked into the back door, he saw the dispatcher standing in the hallway. Reyes testified that he asked McCarver if Hutchins was searched prior to being placed in the cell. He had not, so he searched him. Reyes stated that while searching Hutchins, Hutchins made a statement that he was scared for his life. Because of Reyes’ reaction with Hutchins, he immediately typed a report.
The next witness called was Edward Howard, stepfather of Timberlake. Timberlake and Tanya had been to his home on Thanksgiving Day a couple of times. Howard said when Timberlake and Tanya came back from Scottsboro, they stopped to eat and when they left he didn’t know where they were going. Howard stated that after the two had been gone about five minutes, Hutchins’s daughter came running down the street with blood on her. He stated Davice said “My dad shot and killed Baby (Timberlake),” Howard testified that he drove past the house and saw Tanya on the front porch. He then turned around and went back to the Hutchins’ home. He stated that he walked up onto the front porch and Tanya was trying to revive Timberlake. He testified that he told her to stop because every time she would try blood would shoot from his head. At the time, he stated, Tanya was not on the phone with 911. No one was present other than himself and Tanya. Howard stated that after approximately five minutes a Stevenson Police officer showed up. He testified that he did not see anyone else including Davice come onto the porch. He further stated that he stepped on the shot gun and walked off the porch. He did not recall if Tanya followed him. He did recall seeing a cell phone with a light on it. Howard stated that he knew Timberlake kept a gun in his car and identified the gun belonging to Timberlake, that was normally kept in the console of his car. Howard used a photo of Timberlake’s body to identify an area near Timberlake’s right pocket where he saw the cell phone lying. Howard stated, “It was up there when I was up there. It had to still be up there when I left.”
Howard stated that Tanya asked Nicole to get her clothes out of Timberlake’s car. He got the clothes out of the car for her. Howard testified that he did not lock Tanya out of the car. He testified that he locked the doors because Nicole asked him to lock them. He stated that Tanya did not get in the car. Howard denied making a statement to anyone that Tanya asked him to remove a gun from the scene that night.
During cross examination Howard stated that he had seen Timberlake and Hutchins together the day before. He said the two were at his house playing cards and “they tried to mess my steps up”, while helping him fix them. He said the two left together for a while and came back later. He went on to describe the two as “They were like two peas in a pod.” He went on to say he was not aware of any previous incident where Timberlake pulled a gun on Hutchins.
Justin Hutchins, a relative of Timberlake and Hutchins was called to the stand. Justin stated that he didn’t want to be in court today because he didn’t want to upset anyone. He stated that Timberlake’s mother practically raised him. Justin testified that Howard told him Tanya tried to offer him a gun the night of the shooting.
The last witness was Larry Humphrey. Humphrey stated that he was related to everyone in the courtroom gallery. He testified that his mother called and told him about the shooting. He went to the Hutchins’ home. Humphrey stated that he walked on the porch and was told “He’s gone.” He then walked off the porch. Tanya wasn’t on the porch, Cody Walker wasn’t on the porch and Howard wasn’t on the porch. Humphrey stated that everyone stood out front. He spoke to Tanya Hutchins. Tanya told him there was some guns in the car and asked him to take them. Humphrey stated that he replied, “No, I can’t do that.” Humphrey testified that when Woodall arrived on the scene he made them all leave and that he didn’t report what Tanya had asked him to do to anyone. Since that time, he stated law enforcement was made aware of Tanya’s statements but never came and asked him about it.
The defense rested.
Edmiston renewed his motion for acquittal. According to Edmiston the State had not met their burden.
Judge Holt denied the verbal motion. Holt concluded with the evidence portion of the trial and stated that she would charge the jury on the laws of the State tomorrow morning following closing arguments.
Day 5 - 02/17/17
Closing arguments were heard this morning in the Hutchins murder trial. Assistant District Attorney Brent Benson began closing for the State. Benson explained that this case was about Tanya and Hutchins not letting Timberlake take her from him. He could not stand for Timberlake to be with Tanya so he made it impossible for the two to be together. Benson stated that in the 911 call the jurors heard raw emotion. Benson went through the testimony of Smith. He then spoke about Tanya’s testimony and explained the relationship she had with Hutchins and her affair with Timberlake that began in 2008. He stated that in Tanya’s testimony she stated that this time when she left Hutchins it was different, she planned to stay gone. Tanya found a gun in Hutchins car and became concerned because she had heard word that he was angry. Benson said that Tanya spoke about the meeting she had with Hutchins and Timberlake. Following the meeting Tanya testified that Hutchins had stated he would try his best to make things work. Benson went through the events of Thanksgiving 2014 according to Tanya. Tanya testified that following the shooting, Hutchins walked across Timberlake’s body and said, “I told you, he wasn’t taking you from me.” Benson focused on the 911 call made by Tanya. He stated that Tanya wasn’t focused on hiding anything. Later, as she was covered in blood, she was removed from the porch of the home, at that time she left blood on the car, but never touched the guns inside. Benson stated that Timberlake and Hutchins were cousins, but more like brothers.
Benson then went through the testimony of Brewster and the stories that Hutchins had told him. Hutchins had told Brewster that Timberlake came into the door first and that he opened the gun cabinet and shot Timberlake. Hutchins stated that in between the shots Tanya walked in. He also told Brewster that he had seen the gun lying on the floor. During the statement by Hutchins given to Brewster, he stated that he looked at Tanya and said, “What about me.” During his statement to Woodall he stated, “He had been (explicative) my wife, then he showed up at my house.” Benson then went through Nicole’s testimony. He stated that Hutchins had been planning to kill Timberlake. He stated that Nicole was propositioned by Hutchins to “swap.”
Benson stated that Davice now lives with her mother and still sees her dad. Her mother says, “It’s ok just tell the truth.” Her dad says, “This is how it happened.” Davice testified that her testimony is what she remembers, not what anyone else tells her to say.
McCarver’s testimony was that Hutchins came in and said he shot the guy his old lady had been cheating on him with and that’s why he came to the station.
Benson finished by explaining that Judge Holt will instruct the jury on Self Defense and on Murder. Benson stated, “This was the guy his old lady was cheating on him with.” Timberlake made a fatal mistake. That fatal mistake was being the man who, in Hutchins words, “He had been (explicative) my wife.” He took the barrel of the 410 three feet away and shot his friend twice. There was never a handgun on the porch. This happened because Hutchins was mad. This was the guy his old lady was cheating on him with. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, this is murder.
Edmiston began closing by stating, “You might come away from this believing lawyers get paid for every word they say. You’ve had to listen to us all week talk about all these facts. You are the trier of those facts. This case really comes down to two facts. Do you believe Timberlake had a cell phone in his hand when he walked into Hutchins’ house, uninvited and unannounced? And if Hutchins had a reasonable fear for his life? If you believe he had reasonable fear, he had every right to defend himself. If you believe Timberlake walked into the house with a handgun, Hutchins had every right to use physical force. The state this week has referred to Timberlake as the victim. The victims are Davice and the Timberlake children. They did not ask to be put in this situation. David is not guilty of murder or any crime. He did what each of us would do to protect our home. We have the right to stand our ground within our own home. Within minutes of the shooting, the State questioned McCarver, within minutes Hutchins was at the police dept. Nicole took the stand and told you a secret, a secret she kept for 2 years and 3 months. She told you Hutchins made threatening statements to her about Timberlake that week. She didn’t’ tell Timberlake, family, the police. she didn’t call the police. She didn’t tell the investigators the night of the shooting. When we had a hearing in January 2016 she didn’t’ tell the court about those threats. Her response, “you didn’t ask me.” Is that credible? You haven’t heard from anyone that she ever told them those statements. Nicole was loyal to Timberlake. Even after all his cheating even after all the daily reminders of his infidelity. She was loyal. When she finally had enough and wanted to leave, what did he do. He didn’t want her and he beat her. She had to come to this court for help.”
He continued, “We spent a lot of time, probably too much on forensics. I believe Dr. Green was wrong. I know her report was wrong. They didn’t clear up the report with Green, they brought in another witness to clear it up. Darcy agreed 5-8 feet. In the end it doesn’t matter, that doesn’t have a bearing on self-defense. When you’re home and are faced with deadly force you can shoot. I asked Dr. Green to use my arm to show on my arm where the wound was. She was pointing to my wrist. On the x-ray you can tell it was wrong, meaning that he had his hand extended towards the shot.”
“When you reasonably believe your life is in danger, you get to use deadly physical force. Sometimes you put yourself in a situation where your intentions are misunderstood. Chris went into that house with an intention to do something. I can say that because it happened one year before, the state’s witness said that. The year before she said Timberlake came in and got into an argument with Hutchins. It was about Timberlake being upset that Tanya was at home with her husband. Tanya said Timberlake was upset because Hutchins wouldn’t stand up to him about Timberlake screwing Tanya. That was enough for him to get up go outside get his gun and come back into the house. He always carried a gun.”
Edmiston stated, “When Timberlake came in on Thanksgiving, Hutchins had every right to believe he meant him harm. It was over the same thing they argued over a year before, Tanya. Tanya says Timberlake pulled the gun a year before because she had gone back to Hutchins. Davice said a threat was made that week.
He was frustrated, angry mad. I’m a divorce lawyer, I see it every day. But Hutchins didn’t want to shoot Timberlake. If he wanted to shoot Timberlake, he could have done Wednesday. What Davice did not testify to is just as important. She never saw Hutchins with a gun that week. All these times they were gone looking for her mom, she never saw a gun. When you get crushed by someone in your marriage, you say things. “You’re going to die tonight bitches.” Like Nicole said. You’re hurt. That doesn’t mean you’re going to shoot someone. We wouldn’t be here today if the shooting happened at Walmart at Tanya’s moms house. He didn’t go looking for that fight. it came to him. Davice did not testify that she heard the knock at the door, or that she heard Timberlake say, “Hey Blooky.” No man no. or “I told you no one was going to take you from me.” She did not substantiate anything her mom said. Tanya’s statement is complete fiction.”
He continued, “David shot and killed Timberlake. After he shot him, he went to the police dept. it’s where you go in a small town. It took him 1 minute to get there. The state wants to say that McCarver is my witness. I did subpoena him, he had a firsthand account. McCarver says when he came in, I shot in self-defense. The state wants you to believe he’s smart enough that in one minute he had already collaborated a story. David didn’t know who was responsible for taking interviews. He was just talking. Reyes went into the cell and talked rough to him. David said “It’s self-defense” He told Reyes he was scared for his life. He was brought out of the cell and he made a statement. It’s a summary. They do not tape murder investigation interviews. That summary says, “I thought damn she’s got my gun. Chris busted through my door with my gun.” It would have been easy for Hutchins to say it was Timberlake’s gun. Timberlake always carried a gun. Hutchins instead said he saw his gun, not Timberlake’s. His gun was there, it was later found. He said “Hey mother (explicative), when I seen the gun. I dove into the bedroom. I pointed and shot the shot gun. He went down and I shot again. When I walked outside my gun was lying at the door.”
What’s important in my mind? He hasn’t lawyered up. He is telling them what happened unrestricted. The investigation is hampered because Smith didn’t take the people’s names on the porch. He just knew there were four black gentlemen on the porch. I can’t just go find those four black gentleman. I don’t have the burden; the state has the burden. This is their case to prove. So they start searching for the gun. Important fact. Tanya doesn’t admit to law enforcement about any handgun there. She knew it was important to the case. She didn’t want it to be found. If it was found, it gives credibility to Hutchins’ statement he gave at the beginning of this event. Their witness says it was in her bloody hand and was stopped by police. When someone lies on the stand, you determine their credibility. Woodall finds the cell phone in Timberlake’s pocket, finds the gun in Timberlake’s car. At that point Hutchins has told the truth to detectives. Woodall keeps those facts away from Hutchins. Hutchins is at the Stevenson Police Department and is being interviewed again by detectives. You’ve got to realize the pressure cooker and what that type of interview is really like. Dispatchers say there were 7 county officer’s there, Stevenson Police Department officers, a dispatcher and one David Hutchins. David didn’t lawyer up. At 2:09 a.m. he still said, “I see something in his hand. It could have been a cell phone.” We know a cell phone was there. He’s still saying he thought he saw a gun. He said Timberlake busted in, he was surprised and shocked. Law enforcement knows that self-defense applies. To state it wasn’t self-defense. Beyond a reasonable doubt, how do they get away from the phone, how did they get away from the gun. Who put the gun in his pocket? Four men on the porch. He testified he saw the phone on the porch. He didn’t want to; it doesn’t help their case. If you believe he was in reasonable fear you cannot convict him. If there was a cell phone mistaken for a weapon, that’s reasonable doubt. If you find he had a gun, it’s reasonable doubt. It is clear that the first shot he was pointing toward the shot with something. Two people who didn’t want to be here testified. They didn’t’ want to testify because they’re family and remain close to both sides. They both said Timberlake’s mother is like a second mom to them. They don’t want to upset her. They had no reason to lie or take a side. Justin said a few days after they were with family and overheard Howard say Tanya tried to give him the gun that night. There’s no reason for Justin to lie or to hurt his second mother. He wanted to do what was right. There was no reason for Tanya to remove the gun if it had no play in the shooting. When you hear they’re searching for the handgun, you would tell the officer, she didn’t do that. She lied. If you believe Justin’s testimony that’s reasonable doubt. Humphrey’s also testified. He testified just like Justin that he didn’t’ want to be here. He said when he was out after the shooting Tanya came to him and said, can you take the gun. David has the right to defend himself in his own home. You can’t convict Hutchins on sympathy for families. You must find Hutchins not guilty because the state has not proven their case.
Pierce began with “Did he have to die? Does poor judgment give someone the right to impose the death penalty. This is no self-defense case. I agree with Edmiston on some points. There are some things about Tanya’s testimony that aren’t accurate. I’m confident that she wanted a gun. She had just seen her boyfriend executing. If she is out there asking for a handgun. I can’t say I’m surprised. She testified she tried to get it, I don’t know if that happened or not. Edmiston spoke of her not telling law enforcement about the gun. When Woodall arrived she’s standing out on the road, apparently in shock, bloodied up and he says to put her in the back of the car. She stated she was there five hours. She testifies about the gun in front of ya’ll. Another thing that she’s inaccurate about is she describes to you looking through the aquarium and seeing a scuffle. You guys have the benefit of all photographs admitted into evidence. Look for where the blood is found. I don’t think she’s right. As long as we are going to fact check stories. I think it is important to review the Defendant’s you’ll have the opportunity to go through it as quickly or as fast as you choose.
Pierce continued, “There’s a lot of problems with Hutchins statement, first he has to have Chris bust through the front door. If Tanya is behind him, then how did she miss the line of fire? It doesn’t make any sense. He says he dove into his gun cabinet. Pierce stated that Hutchins’ story is inaccurate. If Timberlake is right handed and is shot in the wrist, he couldn’t have come back up with a gun. “His story is not believable. There is no factual evidence to support this.” He just shot a man and his response is “What about me?"
Allow me to theorize this. “He walks in, says Hey, He gets shot. Turns around to head out the door. He still tries to use his right hand to get out the door. Slings blood everywhere. He uses his left hand to get it open. He isn’t fast enough. Tanya says he goes out on the porch and says, “I told you he wasn’t going to take you from me. “If Baby (Timberlake) was a threat, when the first shot was fired wasn’t the threat over, wasn’t it over? We have no reason to believe there was a gun involved. Explain to me a shot three feet away in the back of the head. What was that? That was cold blooded murder. He did exactly what he intended to do. I always tell my officers to take statements. Even in a statement you’ll get nuggets of truth. You know now from the context about the gun. They don’t find a gun, so they go back to him. They get a second statement from him. It begins with I had no idea Baby was coming over. Then you get exposed to what this is really about. “I was mad; he had been (explicative) then he shows up at my house.” Did you ever hear any evidence that baby was mad? We have Hutchins saying he was mad. He had time to prepare. You don’t see anything about the threats he had made all week, or the meeting he had with them. Nicole tells you about the threats he made. In open court Nicole tells you her intent with Tanya. He did what he said he was going to do that’s not self-defense. That’s planning. I admitted too many photos. He describes his gun by the door. I thought it was important to look where the door is. There was no gun involved. It would have had spatter on it. There wasn’t a gun, there wasn’t a cell phone. Do you believe that this chronic marijuana smoker, changes his mind, becomes aggressive and busts in? This isn’t self-defense. The Judge is going to tell you to use common sense. It is fair to ask why he would tell his daughter “no that’s not what happened. This is what happened.” Why was he wanting her to change her story? Hutchins miscalculated the same way Timberlake did. He thought Tanya was coming home. Timberlake miscalculated and thought Hutchins was going to accept it. That miscalculation costs him his life. Maybe he should have waited a week or a month before he walked into the house. What reason did Timberlake have to believe there was a problem? How did he know there was a problem? It wasn’t because he was sleeping with his wife, that had happened since 2008. How was he supposed to know there was a problem? Let’s be honest and transparent. I don’t think it was a good idea to walk into that house. I don’t think anyone would have said it was a good idea. I don’t like the infidelity. I don’t care for that. I don’t like someone sleeping with their best friend’s wife. Marijuana is illegal. It was recreational. But, the thing is we’re not here to make moral judgments or second guess Timberlake’s actions. We’re here to determine if Hutchins acted in self-defense and the answer is no. We know that Hutchins knew Tanya and Timberlake were coming , so he executed his plan. Did Hutchins have the right to be the judge, jury and executor? “
Holt then explained certain principals of law that apply or may apply to the case. The charges given included the essential elements of murder. Those included that Christopher Timberlake is dead; that David Hutchins caused the death of Timberlake; that in committing the acts Hutchins acted with intent. Holt released the jury and deliberation began immediately following a lunch recess.
Following seven hours of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty in this case.
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