Deliberations To Begin In East Hartford Sneaker Salesman Murder Case
HARTFORD, Jan 14, 2013 (The Hartford Courant - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
While William Castillo was dying of gunshot wounds and trying to call 911 after a home invasion in his East Harford apartment, a winded Kenny Holley had just boarded a bus nearby with Donele Taylor, a prosecutor said Monday in Superior Court.
The state has the surveillance video from the bus to prove that the two were together right after the shooting, and a witness identified Holley as the person with Taylor, prosecutor John Fahey said in closing arguments in Holley's trial. Taylor has been convicted of the murder.
But the state lacks hard evidence that Holley committed the crime, said his lawyer, Patrick Tomasiewicz.
It now is up to the jury to decide whether Holley, 25, is guilty of felony murder, home invasion, first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery. He also is charged with conspiracy to commit both home invasion and robbery. Monday's closing arguments followed a week of testimony.
Fahey showed the jury surveillance video from the bus. The men boarded at 3:22 p.m. on June 30, 2009 after running about a tenth of a mile from the area of Castillo's apartment, according to testimony.
Two minutes later, at 3:24 p.m., a mortally-wounded Castillo is "making that final phone call," dialing 9-2-2 instead of 9-1-1, Fahey said.
The video shows part of a shoe box in a backpack, Fahey said -- which is significant because Castillo sold sneakers out of his car or apartment. Holley opened up the shoe box to pay the fare, he said.
The video also shows the two men sitting in their seats on the bus, alternately wiping their faces.
A passenger heard the man believed to be Taylor say, "I can't believe I got bit by a dog," Fahey said. Taylor had some injuries from the struggle with Castillo that preceded the shooting.
The man who Fahey identified as Holley said, "That's a big dog."
Castillo was 6 feet tall.
"They robbed him and ultimately, brutally murdered him," Fahey said.
Tomasiewicz said the state has not met its burden of proof in the case. There's "nothing to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Mr. Holley was in the apartment," he said.
"There's no DNA from Mr. Holley," he said. "No hair. No fingerprints from Mr. Holley. Fifty-five pieces of evidence were removed from that apartment. Not one piece of that directly links Mr. Holley to the apartment."
Tomasiewicz also said witness statements were inconsistent. And some witnesses couldn't confirm that Holley was the man they saw on the bus that day, he said.
He questioned the conspiracy charges, in addition to the others.
"What evidence has the state put before you that proves [Holley and Taylor] met before the crime "
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