Mark Goueeau's fate officially is in the hands of a Maricopa County jury as of 10 a.m.
The prosecution and defense completed their respective closing arguments yesterday afternoon in a courtroom packed with the family members of victims, some (alleged) victims themselves, members of the Phoenix Police Department's "Baseline Task Force," media and others.
Randy Craig, who led the Goudeau defense team, spoke passionately to the jury for several hours, claiming that prosecutors had failed to prove their sprawling case against the accused serial killer.
"The state thought they had an open-and-shut case here," Craig said, [but] is there anything but what they say was found in a laboratory?"
In part, Craig was referring to the extremely likely presence of Goudeau's DNA on several victims.
He also was talking about the presence of DNA matched to two of Goudeau's alleged murdered victims on a white Nike sneaker and a black ski mask belonging to Goudeau that police collected during a search of Goudeau's residence in the hours after his September 6, 2006, arrest.
As for another piece of critical evidence--a ring and other jewelry belonging to murder victim Tina Washington (read about that tragic case in great detail right here)--that the cops also found tucked away in a baggie inside a brown leather shoe during a subsequent search of Goudeau's home, Craig said this:
"Somebody entered the home [after the September 6 search] and put [the telltale baggie] there."
Nice try. Seriously doubt it will fly.
Deputy county attorney Suzanne Cohen naturally focused on the greatest strengths of the case against Goudeau--the overwhelming DNA and the ballistics evidence against the guy.
"The science is corroborated and is the corroboration," Cohen told the jury. "The DNA technology has not been questioned....The evidence proved the defendant is the wolf."
Indeed it wasn't, even though defense attorney Craig promised the jurors several times during the months-long trial that he would contest that evidence tooth-and-nail.
In fact, the defense presented no evidence and no witnesses during the trial.
We will be publishing an in-depth piece on this remarkable case in a few weeks.
No clue, of course, when the jury will return its verdicts, but we'll report in when it happens.