Witness: Kids present when Bloomfield man was shot
Testimony in the first degree murder trial of Larry Steen came to an abrupt end Friday afternoon.
Steen TMs legal team started its case Friday morning, but when court resumed after a lunch break, lead attorney Allen Cook told the court that the defense would rest its case.
The decision to rest seemingly came as a surprise to the court.
Judge Daniel Wilson told jurors that he did not have his charge to the jury ready and he did not want to keep them in court while he wrote it.
Wilson then set closing arguments for Monday morning, and released the jurors for the weekend.
Steen is accused of shooting Randy Saner in a rural Bloomfield home in September of 2010.
The prosecution has argued that Steen had every intention of killing Saner when he arrived at the home of his ex-wife Cathy Clark in the early morning hours of September 24.
The defense has argued that law enforcement rushed to judgment on Steen TMs part in the shooting and never fully investigated the crime.
If convicted of first degree murder, Steen faces a mandatory life sentence.
Day four of the Larry Steen murder trial saw the prosecution continue its case, with the afternoon testimony center around the gun Steen allegedly used to kill Randy Saner.
Iowa state criminologist Vic Murillo was called to the stand. Murillo's area of expertise is firearms.
Murillo's testimony included a demonstration of how to load and fire, the huge .44 magnum Ruger Black Hawk pistol prosecutors say was found on Steen at the time of his arrest.
Murillo told jurors that the pistol is a single action weapon, explaining that the pistol must be deliberately cocked before firing; simply pulling the trigger wouldn't fire the weapon.
Murillo also told jurors that the trigger on the pistol was not a hair trigger and required substantial effort to pull.
He ended his direct testimony by telling the jurors that the weapon offered into evidence was definitely the weapon used to shoot Saner in the back in the early morning hours of September 24, 2010.
On cross examination, defense attorneys asked if Murillo if he had performed a gun powder residue test on the hands of either Steen or the victim.
The defense has repeatedly suggested that investigators erred by not performing such a test.
Murillo told jurors his office has not performed that test for nearly fifteen years, because the results were often inconclusive.
The trial is expected to continue on Friday.
On Wednesday morning the defense cross-examined Sheriff Dave Davis of Davis County.
One of the key issues that defense attorney Allen Cook brought up on several occassions is that law enforcement did not conduct tests for gun residue on Steen's clothing.
Prosecutor Denise Timmons then redirected Sheriff Davis.
Davis read from a note Steen wrote to his mother from jail saying "sorry i have to communicate this way. i must have done something wrong." then later "if i could only tell them how sorry i am. i didn't mean to harm anyone."
Later in the afternoon the Adair County Sheriff's officeres were called to testify .
You may remember Steen was found in the Fort Madison Cemetary in Adair County Missouri by law enforcement officials.
The trial is expected to continue Thursday morning.
Jurors heard dramatic testimony in the murder trial of Larry Wayne Steen Tuesday morning.
Prosecutor Denise Timmons called Steen's ex-wife Cathy Clark to the stand to recount the events that led to the death of Clark's boyfriend Randy Saner.
A tearful Clark told jurors that she, Randy Saner, and other family members including two small grandchildren were in bed in the early morning hours of September 24 2010, when she heard Steen pounding on the house.
Clark said when she went to the door to speak to Steen; he pushed his way inside, and struck her in the face on the way to the bedroom where Saner was located.Clark then testified that she heard Saner say don't do it man, before a gunshot rang out.
Clark says Steen walked by her as he exited the house, apologizing as he passed by.
She then recounted the frantic efforts to save Saner TMs life.
Moments before Clark took the stand, Steen's attorney Allen Cook presented his opening statement to the jury.
Cook told jurors that the evidence does not support a charge of premeditated murder.
Cook says law enforcement was more interested in arresting Steen than investigating the crime.
The defense has not specifically refuted that Steen killed Saner, but Cook's opening suggests that he will argue that the killing was the result of an on-going love triangle and was not premeditated.
The trial is expected to continue on Wednesday morning.