PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) The prosecution rested its case in the Gustavo Segundo-Clark murder trial in New York's North Country Tuesday, and so did the defense-- without calling a single witness.
Prosecutors presented evidence that a grandmother fought off her attacker before he stabbed her to death. The accused is the victim's grandson, Gustavo Segundo-Clark, 25. Police say he killed Ginger Clark, 73, with a knife last Thanksgiving.
Our Kelly O'Brien reports on the unusual turn in the case Tuesday.
For five days, prosecutors laid out a long list of physical evidence and witness testimony, while Segundo-Clark's lawyers offered very little in the way of a defense. All that's left now is closing arguments before the case goes to the jury.
Among the final prosecution witnesses was the medical examiner who described Ginger Clark's injuries and determined they could not be the result of a suicide. He said the victim had "defense wounds" on her hands, scratch marks or cuts that usually occur when someone is trying to ward off a weapon.
Monday in court we heard interrogations with the defendant, Segundo-Clark, where he said he only scratched her. But the medical examiner said Ginger Clark's injuries don't match Segundo-Clark's description of what happened.
Before wrapping things up for the day Tuesday, the court heard about the DNA found at the scene of the crime and heard from one of the investigators who questioned Segundo-Clark regarding the altercation
Forensic scientists took the stand to talk about the possible blood found at the Rooney Road home. They took a look at the blood on the clothing Segundo-Clark was wearing, which had a DNA match with Ginger Clark. They said the kitchen knife that was used in the murder had blood on the blade that was a positive match to Ginger Clark. On the handle, there was blood that was a partial match for Segundo-Clark, but the witness testified it was a 1 in 320 billion chance of it being another male.
We also heard audio recordings of the interrogation between Segundo-Clark and investigators while he was in custody. There, he described his side of the story, saying that he and his grandmother had been fighting all day and the altercation started because he took her keys to go get beer. Segundo-Clark said when he came back, she was dead on the floor, her neck was bleeding and she had a knife in her hand. He said he grabbed the knife and ran upstairs, washed the knife because it might have his prints on it, then drove to Schenectady. He claimed he called 911, but last week we saw his phone records and there was no call to 911.
The prosecution then rested its case and Segundo-Clark's lawyers said they, too, were resting without calling any witnesses.
It's unclear what the defense's strategy is, offering no witnesses and very little cross-examination. We do know that Segundo-Clark is a diagnosed schizophrenic and earlier in the trial his lawyer did question Segundo-Clark's mental health counselor about his state of mind on the day of the murder. We'll learn more about that in closing arguments on Wednesday.