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Hutson case goes to jury this morning

Hutson case goes to jury this morning

May 22nd, 2014 in News

Update, posted at 9:16 p.m. Thursday:

Cole County jury convicts Hutson on murder charge

Earlier coverage, posted at 4:57 a.m. Thursday:

A Cole County jury should begin deliberating Calvin Hutson's fate late this morning.

Closing arguments from Prosecutor Mark Richardson and Public Defender Kevin Lorenz will begin at 9 a.m.

Circuit Judge Dan Green twice denied Lorenz' motions Wednesday for judgment of acquittal - after the state ended its presentation of evidence and again after Lorenz finished presenting his case.

Richardson last year charged Hutson, 36, St. Louis, with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action following the Dec. 27, 2012, killing of Andre Hudson, 41, Holts Summit.

Hutson faces a possible sentence of 10-30 years, or up to life in prison, if the jury convicts him of the murder or robbery charges.

Conviction of the armed criminal action charge requires a minimum three-year sentence.

Richardson said during Tuesday afternoon's opening statement that Hutson killed Hudson during a drug-related deal.

But Lorenz said Hudson fired first, wounding Hutson.

Hutson didn't testify, and Lorenz called only one witness during his presentation of the defense evidence - William Bates, who was living at 606 Washington St., several blocks from the murder scene, on the night Hudson was killed.

Bates testified he "heard a car outside, coming to a screaming halt."

When he looked to see what was happening, Bates said, "I saw a red vehicle - like an SUV."

Moments later, Bates said, he saw "a heavier set man running through the yards and jumping a fence."

That man was carrying what appeared to be a shotgun, but he didn't have it after disappearing behind a shed.

Officers testified Tuesday a shotgun was found near a storage shed, during the murder investigation almost 17 months ago.

But the eight-man, six woman jury panel has heard other testimony that smaller guns were fired inside Justin Beasley's gray Dodge Stratus, where Hudson, sitting in the back seat, and Hutson, sitting in the front passenger seat, were talking.

Beasley, now serving a 10-year sentence at the Western Missouri Correctional Center, Cameron, testified Tuesday he was sitting in the driver's seat and listening to music while Hutson and Hudson were talking when, suddenly, he heard a shot and saw Hutson knocked back against the dashboard.

Beasley said Hutson got out of the car and ran.

Jefferson City Police Officer Shawn Dumsday said Tuesday he first saw Hutson crawling into the parking lane of the 200 block of West Dunklin, and "his whole right side was covered with blood."

Hutson initially told Dumsday he'd been "sitting in the gray car when another vehicle pulled up and someone shot him."

Beasley originally faced the same charges - second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action - that Hutson now faces during the trial.

Last year, Beasley pleaded guilty to those charges, and Green sentenced him to a total of 10 years in prison.

Hudson's widow, Marcy Hudson, testified Tuesday she was driving a red Chevrolet Silverado pickup, and had driven her husband and a friend to Jefferson City for what she thought might be a drug deal - based her husband's half of phone conversations during the drive from Holts Summit.

The two vehicles met at the Zesto's store on Broadway Street, just south of the U.S. 50/63 Expressway, then drove up the hill to a small lot off Schroeder Way.

That's where the shootings occurred, Beasley and Marcy Hudson both testified.

Dr. Edward Adelstein, a deputy medical examiner for Boone and Callaway counties who conducted Hudson's autopsy, testified Wednesday afternoon that Hudson "suffered from four gunshot wounds," including one that went through his head.

But, Adelstein added, an examination of his wounds showed the gun was "at least 30 inches away" from Hudson when the shots were fired.

Richardson spent most of the day Wednesday questioning Police Evidence Technician Teresa Clerkin and several Highway Patrol Crime Lab criminalists about the collection, marking, testing and storing of more than 200 pieces of evidence and crime scene photos submitted to the court this week as part of the trial record.