Its day three of the Ulysses Altland murder trial and all that's needed now is a verdict.
Both the defense and the prosecution gave their closing arguments to the jury of eight men and four women. Judge Garhart gave them the option of rendering a verdict tonight, or coming back tomorrow. It looks as though we will have a verdict tomorrow.
Twenty-three-year-old Altland is accused of fatally shooting 40 year old Brent Washington inside of Wagner's Bar and Grille on west Eighth Street.
Defense attorney Eric Hackwelder was the first to present his closing arguments. He brings the jury back to the night of March 3rd saying that Altland and his family were just out celebrating a birthday party when Dwayne Jenkins, someone who had bad blood with Ulysses Altland, came in.
Hackwelder says Jenkins had called his aunt Andrea Jones and her boyfriend Brent Washington to come to Wagner's bar for support and quote, "Jones and Washington caused this fight by punching Altlands girlfriend and assaulting Altland's sister."
The defense continues explaining that the Commonwealth is trying to seek first degree murder, but Altland believed an intervention was necessary to save his family and quote "first or third degree murder charges do not fit because he had no intent to kill and the shooting was justified."
Hackwelder concludes by saying that if the jury thinks that Altland had a right to use force, but the force he used, meaning firing shots, was too much, he could be charged with voluntary manslaughter.
But Robert Sambroak of the prosecution argues quote: "The defendant didn't even assess the situation. He just starts firing, even hitting his sister Monica in the arm with a bullet. To top it all off, once he shoots Washington he comes back into Wagner's and kicks the victim."
Sambroak says the victim was trying to break up a fight, had his back to the shooter, and gets shot for it. And quote: "There was no evidence Washington ever threatened anyone."