July 21, 2008
Posted: 09:06 AM ET
TAMPA, Forida–After deliberating for 3 hours without reaching a verdict, the jury in Florida v Joshua Rosa will resume their deliberations Monday morning.
Friday was a tense day in the Tampa courtroom with emotions between the families of the defendant and victim extremely strained. Although they used to live across the street from each other , they are now miles apart in this first-degree murder trial.
The day started with defense forensic pathologist Dr. Ronald Wright taking the stand. He testified that a manual strangulation death such as what happened to 13-year-old Stephen Tomlinson does not produce a bloody nose or mouth until after death. Dr. Wright testified the "dynamic" strangulation murder as outlined by the prosecution did not include any blood. So any blood on the defendant came after the murder when Rosa found him and tried to help.
The defense closing argument focused on many issues, including why the blood pattern and injuries to Rosa are not consistent with Tomlinson fighting for his life. Defense attorney Brian Gonzalez said the foreign DNA under Stephen's left hand fingernails was consistent with Rosa's DNA profile on 3 markers, but was so weak that 1 in 5 African American's couldn't be excluded from the profile or 1 in 12 Hispanics.
During the prosecution closing argument Assistant State Attorney Jay Pruner put on Rosa's actual white cotton gloves while describing how Rosa held the young boy in a neck lock from the back while covering his bloody nose. He described how he said Tomlinson fought with his left hand and nails to get Rosa's arm away from his neck and fought with his right arm to get Rosa's hand off his bloody mouth area. It was a strong closing demonstration, linking together the blood on the gloves, the blood on Tomlinson's right hand and Tomlinson's fingernail clippings with foreign DNA that couldn't rule out the defendant.
Rosa faces life in prison.
–Jean Casarez, In Session correspondent
Filed under: Trials
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