Closing arguments in murder trial against Fresno paralegal

Defense attorneys for the former Fresno paralegal on trial for murder say there are too many holes in the prosecution to convict him. But prosecutors say the evidence is all there.
December 5, 2013 4:30:06 PM PST
Defense attorneys for the former Fresno paralegal on trial for murder say there are too many holes in the prosecution to convict him. But prosecutors say the evidence is all there.

In closing arguments Thursday, the prosecutor pulled out a shopping list found at Brian Waldron's apartment. It included items Waldron needed to clean up after killing and dismembering the body of a neighbor's son, and there was one item the prosecutor said proves Waldron's story of self-defense is a lie.

Waldron revealed his angry side in court briefly Thursday as the case drew near its conclusion. Prosecutors say the 55-year-old also got angry five years ago when he beat Jonathan Taylor to death.

"He's got his head down and his back has to be arched up because he's got to hold the pipe and he has to bang down like so," said prosecutor Robert Romanacce as he displayed a pipe found at Waldron's home. "To give him the beating, I would argue this more than likely was used."

Waldron reported the beating and subsequent mutilation of Taylor's body to police three days after it happened in October 2008.

Two witnesses -- a former friend and a fellow inmate -- directly contradicted his story of self-defense. But another former friend and a former employer described Waldron as trustworthy and non-violent.

"It defies common sense a 50-year-old man suddenly becomes a killer," said defense attorney Jim Lambe.

Waldron never took the stand during the trial, but in a statement to police, he said Taylor started a fight and wouldn't stop until Waldron killed him. He also told investigators he thought Taylor was a gang member and when he returned home from dumping the body, he saw suspicious names written in Spanish on the door of his apartment.

No writing was ever found, but a shopping list was. Filled with cleaning items and camping equipment, it also included one item prosecutors say proves Waldron made up his story.

"Sharpie," Romanacce said. "Why did he need a Sharpie? What he going to do? Identify the packaging? An arm over here, a leg over here? He forgot to write on the door."

The defense conceded Thursday that Waldron should be found guilty of mutilating Taylor's body.

Closing arguments are expected to finish Friday morning, and then the jury will decide whether Waldron killed in self-defense.


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