It's been hectic here and I apologize for not bringing you good folks up to speed on this sooner. Life intrudes. I'll be so glad when this week is over.
It had been predicted that the Jessie Davis trial would take a month. Unless the jury is out an outrageously long time, that won't happen. The prosecution presented and rested its case last week. The defense rested Monday and the jury, which has been sequestered, began deliberation yesterday and, as of this afternoon, has not reached a verdict.
The Stark County Court house is not allowing laptops or cell phones or laptops in the building for the duration of the trial and court rooms were rearranged to allow room for spectators and the media as well as a press room for the media. And an entire block nearby has been blocked off for the satellite trucks and vans from over fifteen news sources. It's interesting to note that the national media is not a presence after their intense coverage in June when Jessie was missing. In the few journalism courses I took in college, I was taught that a good reporter always follows a case to its conclusion. Maybe they don't teach that anymore and Super Tuesday rhetoric obviously takes precedence.
Last week the prosecution presented its case. As it was suspected, the coroner had a difficult time establishing the cause of death due to decompoisition during the nine days she and here unborn child was missing but stangulation was named as the most likely cause. Myisha Ferrell was the key witness for the prosecution as she accompanied Bobby Cutts Jr. when he buried Jessie in a park in Summit County. According to her testimony, she did not participate in the burial but Cutts allegedly picked her up to watch Blake, his son with Jessie Davis and she didn't know until Cutts told her that Davis body was in the bed of his truck wrapped in a comforter. The thirty-six defense witnesses also included Davis' mother. Sheriff's deputies, and the other women with whom Cutts was involved (one of whom was also pregnant and terminated the pregnancy) with in addition to his wife and Ms. Davis. A male friend testified that while on duty as a Canton City policeman, Cutts would come visit and play video games. I don't think I need to comment on what I, as a taxpayer, think of that.
This week Bobby Cutts surprised everyone and took the stand in his own behalf. He painted Ms. Davis' death as an accident as a result of an argument between the two of them. His testimony is the hottest topic in town and you can hear it here. Some of the questions being asked by the people I've spoken with range from "Couldn't he come up with a better story than that?" to "A cop didn't know proper CPR or how to call 911?" You can see both print and video coverage here.
My take -- and that of a lot of others here -- is that while there are some questions as to whether Davis's death was accidental, she was nine months pregnant and her daughter may have been able to be saved. If anyone reading this has ever been pregnant, she knows that is the truth. Bobby Cutts Jr. was a trained professional and panicking, as he says he did, doesn't really ring true. I have watched our policemen in action for decades and several, now retired of course, are old friends. They are mostly good men who do their job well and face crisis, whether on duty or not, in a professional manner.
This whole case is a tragedy and I hope and pray the jury considers it carefully and takes all the time it needs. I'm trying very hard to be fair and impartial but a young mother's and her baby girl's lives were taken and I find that horrifying.