(BROWNSTOWN) - Jurors in the trial of a 24-year old rural Crothersville man accused of murdering his father three years ago should begin their deliberations sometime today.
Aubrey Woods of the Tribune reports the end of the evidence portion of John Aaron Shoultz III's trial came shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday in Jackson Circuit Court when the defense rested after calling three witnesses.
Shoultz is accused of murdering his father, John Shoultz Jr., on May 2, 2009, at their home on South Indiana 39 in the Crothersville area.
Shortly before the defense rested, Judge Bill Vance rejected a request from Shoultz's attorneys, Alice Bartanen Blevins and Ethan Bartanen, to recall prosecution witness Andrea Howard.
Howard, Shoultz's exgirlfriend, was the first witness the state called to the stand. Her testimony revolved around events in the weeks and days leading to the murder, including the time that the defendant fired four shots, three of which struck the elder Shoultz, inside the couple's bedroom.
Blevins said a subpoena was given to Howard's attorney asking that Howard appear in court at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Howard, however, did not show up Thursday, and Vance said he didn't think that qualified as serving her with a subpoena.
Vance also questioned Shoultz's attorneys about what they planned to ask Howard if she was called back to the witness stand. Ethan Bartanen said they wanted to clear up some of the inconsistencies in some of her statements, including one about the length of her relationship with the younger Shoultz, a trapdoor in the bedroom where the murder occurred and her fear for her dogs shortly after she and John Aaron Shoultz taped together the legs of a Chihuahua that belonged to Ronda Shoultz, his mother.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Shoultz told police he fired one shot in the ceiling before firing three shots at his father because he feared his dad was going to cut him or Howard after the incident involving the Chihuahua, named Tiny Tot. Vance called the jury back into the room after declining to grant that request, and the defense immediately rested its case.
Shoultz did not testify on his own behalf.
The day began with the state resting after a pathologist from Louisville, Ky., testified.
The defense then put Robert England, Vasco England and Jessica Marcott on the stand before a lunch break.
Those witnesses generally presented evidence about the relationship between the defendant and his father and an earlier incident in which the father fired a gun in the air and told the son to get off his property.
Vance dismissed the jurors for the day after the defense rested to allow time for jury instructions to be put together.
Vance ordered that the jury return to court at 8:30 a.m. today for closing arguments and final instructions before beginning their deliberations on the guilt or innocence of Shoultz.
|John Shoultz Jr.
||John Shoultz III
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