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Prosecutors, defense rest in murder trial for man charged with running over Moore students


By Dillon Richards

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    MOORE, Oklahoma (KOCO) — Lawyers will present their closing arguments Friday in the case of the Moore High School cross-country tragedy. The state and defense both rested Thursday afternoon as the jury heard new dramatic testimony and phone calls from jail.

The verdict for Max Townsend could come as soon as Friday afternoon. The lawyers will do their closing arguments at 9 a.m. in then the jury will head out to a conference room to decide the fate of Townsend.

Townsend is charged with murder after he plowed his truck into a cross-country team running outside Moore High School last February. His defense is that he passed out behind the wheel after choking on a Red Bull.

On Thursday, we heard Townsend talking to people on jail phone calls, although they were hard to understand. He at one point tells someone the Red Bull story, at another point, he said on a phone call something about the devil and scripture, and maybe it wasn’t really him behind the wheel that day.

The defense started their case. They called an expert who claimed at first that Townsend’s Red Bull story about passing out behind the wheel was plausible. But then a prosecutor told an expert that four people have said they saw Townsend awake and alert behind the wheel. She asked if that changed his opinion. He seemed flustered and was saying, “Well, why didn’t anyone tell me that?”

We also heard from Townsend’s sister who said on Thursday that he told her he felt funny and thought maybe he shouldn’t be driving just a few minutes before the crash. The prosecution said she didn’t tell a detective that back when she was interviewed last February.

After sitting through an exhausting two-week trial, 12 jurors will decide whether Townsend committed second-degree murder that day.

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