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In an attempt to answer some questions I received over the weekend, here’s what the logistics look like for the rest of the trial.
Just before lunch on Thursday, after Detective Vincent’s testimony, the prosecution rested. They won’t be calling more witnesses or presenting any more evidence.
Court was not in session on Friday or Monday because of scheduling conflicts, though it wasn’t clear what took priority.
The defense will begin presenting its case on Tuesday, and while Vandeman was originally supposed to testify last, a conversation between the judge and both attorneys may have changed that.
After the jury left the room on Thursday, Cabanero submitted a motion that the testimony of a witness who will say that he came upon Vandeman after an incident in 2007 doesn’t have any bearing on the charges. Based on the conversation, the witness is going to testify that he met Vandeman just after a group of mountain bikers attacked him on the trail.
Cabanero argued that this was an unrelated incident since none of the current victims were part of that attack, and said testimony would be unduly prejudicial since the only thing the attackers and the victims have in common is mountain biking. The judge was inclined to agree, though, as I understood the exchange, if Vandeman’s testimony related that incident, the defense would be able to call a witness to corroborate the story.
Which is all to say that tomorrow, we’ll hear testimony from the two hikers who were accompanying Vandeman when Lanham was cut with the saw and, with the order of witnesses flipped around, possibly Vandeman himself. It’s a coin-flip at this point.
The defense may or may not decide to call its final witness, then both lawyers will present closing arguments. The jury could go into deliberations Wednesday, with verdicts possible anytime after that.
I will be truly delighted if they conclude on Thursday, because right now, I’m planning on spending my Friday out riding Tamarancho.