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Unformatted text preview: ct. He did not need long, emotional arguments to convince the jury. Baggy loved to say, "When lawyers have a weak case they do a lot more talking." Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, Oddly, Lucien Wilbanks deferred his opening remarks until the defense put on its case, an option rarely exercised. "He's up to something," Baggy mumbled as if he and Lucien were thinking together. "No surprise there." The first witness for the State was Sheriff Coley himself. Part of his job was testifying in criminal cases, but it was doubtful he'd ever dreamed of doing so against a Padgitt. In a few months he would be up for reelection. It was important for him to look good before the voters. With Ernie's meticulous planning and prodding, they walked through the crime. There were large diagrams of the Kassellaw home, the Deece home, the roads around Beech Hill, the exact spot where Danny Padgitt was arrested. There were photographs of the area. Then, there were photographs of Rhoda's corpse, a seriesof eight by ten's that were handed to the jurors and passed around. Their reactions were amazing. Every face was shocked. Some winced. A few mouths flew open. Miss Callie closed her eyes and appeared to pray. Another lady on the jury, Mrs. Barbara Baldwin, gasped at first sight and turned away. Then she looked at Danny Padgitt as if she could shoot him at point-blank range. "Oh my God," one of the men mumbled. Another covered his mouth as if he might throw up. The jurors sat in padded swivel chairs that rocked slightly. As the gruesome photos were passed around, not a single chair was still. The pictures were inflammatory, highly prejudicial, yet always admissible, and as they caused a commotion in the jury box I thought Danny Padgitt was as good as dead. Judge Loopus allowed only six as exhibits. One would have sufficed. It was just after 1 P.M., and everyone needed a break. I doubted that the jurors had much of an a...
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