Beulah Shooting Case Goes To Jury | VideoRetha Colclasure | 6/27/2012
Was there a conspiracy, and if so, what was the object of it? That`s what defense attorneys argued is one of the key points for jurors to consider.
"This is a conspiracy case. A conspiracy case that requires an agreement. Why did they spend so much time on it? Because they can`t prove the agreement to commit a murder," said Travis Finck, Whitman`s defense attorney.
Defense attorneys say there are some facts not in doubt, such as the fact that Michael Padilla died, and that Whitman and Borner went to the apartment with guns.
"Maybe they created a situation recklessly by carrying some guns into a room that ended up in a situation that they didn`t know how to respond to. Yeah, it was probably a stupid thing to do. But stupidity`s not a crime. Carrying the guns into the room was probably not a smart thing to do. Maybe it wasn`t well thought out. But it happened, and what happened thereafter realistically was out of their control," said Steven Simonson, Borner`s defense attorney.
Prosecutors say jurors need to look at everything that happened before, during, and after the shooting. And they say those facts add up to a conspiracy.
"Both defendants testified to you that its not their fault that there was a shooting. They don`t understand common sense. In North Dakota when you`re in your home and someone comes in and intrudes with weapons, and you try to defend yourself, it`s not you that created the dangerous circumstances. I think that`s unfortunately the belief of the defendants, its their fault," said McLean County State`s Attorney Ladd Erickson.
Prosecutors say there was no obvious motive to the case, as there often is in a murder, but that what happened that night was the definition of senseless violence.
Jurors began deliberating the case around 2:30. They`ll resume deliberations at 9:00 tomorrow morning.