Keasling takes the stand

Ricky Keasling/KTVO


Ricky Keasling's murder case was handed to the jury Wednesday evening.

Just before the court was dismissed, prosecutors and the defense were given a final chance to persuade jurors.

Wapello County Prosecuting Attorney Gary Oldenburger reviewed all the evidence with jurors.

Oldenburger told the jury that fingerprints and a bullet casing that Keasling left behind at Darrell Teeter's Eldon bait shop are enough to prove he is guilty of murdering Teeter.

He noted that investigators found more of Keasling's fingerprints at Teeter's shop than prints that belonged to Teeter.

But Keasling's attorney, Allen Cook, argued that the evidence was derived from theories, not facts.

"All this evidence reveals is that my client was not honest when he spoke to law enforcement about getting pills from Darrell Teeter," Cook said. "That's about all they've shown to you."

State Prosecuting Attorney Coleman McAllister opened with a metaphor, comparing Cook's defense to an octopus.

Coleman explained that as an octopus would defend itself by emitting ink to cloud the area so it can escape in the darkness, so did Cook's defense.

He added that Keasling isn't credible, making it difficult for the defense to prove he is innocent.

Jurors are scheduled to begin deliberation at 9 a.m. Thursday.


Ricky Keasling of Eldon took the stand in his own defense Wednesday morning in a Wapello County courtroom.

The 26-year-old defendant calmly answered questions from his attorney, Public Defender Allen Cook.

He told jurors that he regularly bought opiate pain killers from murder victim, Darrell Teeter, also from Eldon.

Because the transactions were friendly, Keasling said he had no reason to kill the bait shop owner.

He told the court that he was in his bed at his grandmother's house the night of the murder.

When asked why he lied to police about the murder weapon and the drugs, Keasling said he was protecting other people.

Despite a tough cross-examination, Keasling maintained throughout his time on the stand that he did not kill Teeter and that any evidence suggesting he had was easily explainable.

He told the jury he had been in and around the bait shop many times so it was no surprise that he fingerprints were found at the scene.

As for witnesses who had seen his truck around town the night of the murder, Keasling testified that they had simply gotten his vehicle confused with similar work trucks.

He did clarify one piece of early testimony.

Keasling's father testified on Tuesday that he had offered his son $60,000 if he needed it.

Keasling told the court he thought his father offered him the money so he could go on the lam.

He told jurors he declined the offer because he is innocent.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off