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Update On Bill Cosby Trial

11 June 2017 Written by 

The prosecution rested its case on Friday. Now the defense must decide whom to call as witnesses to defend Bill Cosby — or perhaps decide not to call anyone at all.

• There was some speculation Mr. Cosby himself might testify.

• Judge Steven T. O’Neill said that the case would likely go to the jurors early in the week.

Photo
 
Bill Cosby, center, walks Friday with Andrew Wyatt, a publicist, on the fifth day of Mr. Cosby’s sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse.

Credit Pool photo by Lucas Jackson

The trial’s first week was full of dramatic testimony.

Prosecutors asked Andrea Constand to tell her story, while defense lawyers attacked Ms. Constand’s credibility. Her testimony was emotional and she stayed composed, even as Mr. Cosby’s defense team produced phone records showing she called Mr. Cosby at least 53 times after the night she said she was assaulted at his home. She said that she had to speak to him for Temple University business.

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Brian J. McMonagle, Mr. Cosby’s lead attorney. Credit Matt Rourke/Associated Press

On Monday, it’s the defense’s turn to call witnesses.

Who they choose may indicate how they feel they have done in their efforts to undermine Ms. Constand’s story. Mr. Cosby’s spokesman opened the possibility on Friday that Mr. Cosby himself might testify. If the entertainer takes the risk of putting himself before the prosecutors on cross-examination, that might be a clear sign his team thinks the trial isn’t going his way.

Another question for the defense is whether they call Bruce L. Castor Jr., the former district attorney who carried out the initial investigation in 2005. His name has been referenced several times in court by the defense team. But do they really want him speaking out in court? Even though he concluded there was “insufficient credible and admissible evidence” to bring charges, he has also said that he believed Ms. Constand’s account and thought Mr. Cosby was guilty of some improper behavior.

“My gut told me that,” he told The New York Times in 2014.

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Andrea Constand at the courthouse. Credit Pool photo by Matt Rourke

No one is expecting a protracted defense.

District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Brian J. McMonagle, Mr. Cosby’s lead attorney, could begin their closing arguments on Monday.

Judge O’Neill told jurors they could expect to receive the case and begin their deliberations early in the week, perhaps even as early as Monday.

The jurors may be relieved. They were drawn from the Pittsburgh area, 300 miles west of Norristown, Pa., because of concerns over pretrial publicity. They are being sequestered for the duration of the trial.

“You have been amazing in how you have taken that hardship, being away from your family, away from your normal routine,” Judge O’Neill said on Friday as he wished them a restful weekend.

But he warned them not to talk about the case with anyone and to keep an open mind, as they now come into the spotlight.

Content Originally Published By: @ The New York Times

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Read 726 times Last modified on Monday, 12 June 2017 14:37
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