Closing arguments by Jackson County Assistant Prosecutor David Fry
State of Missouri v. Byron Case
May 2, 2002
Pages 1219-1228

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Page 1219
Mr. Fry, I believe you have slightly less than 13 minutes.
Your Honor, if I could just have one second.
Take your time.
May it please the Court.
Mr. Fry.
Labeling Kelly Moffett a liar here today isn't a hard thing for you to do. It's when she lied. When she lied, not if she lied. Let me tell you, she lied.

She lied to Sergeant Kilgore and she started that lie right after the shooting occurred.

With our evidence, we tried to take you collectively to Lincoln Cemetery. Place you in that car. When it stopped, when Justin got out and Anastasia got out with them, and Kelly was still in this debate with Byron that you guys are making this up. There is no serious talk here about a murder.

Page 1220
Why are you saying this? Byron, why are you telling me you got a gun? Byron is the one that tells her, "I got the gun from my father." We tried to put you in that car.

And then so suddenly he got up. "I'll be back in a minute." Got out. Popped the trunk. Immediately grabbed the gun. She saw him take a step and shoot her. At age fifteen something that violent, that sudden and that horrible occurred.

Kelly has already described to you her life. She kind of had this family and yet she was reaching out. She had this group of friends.

I spent a lot of time with the Defendant yesterday making sure you got a very full development of what those relations were, with the dynamics, of at least Justin, Anastasia, Kelly and Byron were.

It was, to say the least, complex, especially if you're 14 or 15 and they're all 18 and 20. Very complex. And she, for some reason, is reaching out maybe the way a teenager would do, and that's where she has reached out, outside her family.

Page 1221
Once this horrible thing happened so suddenly and her life is changed so dramatically, the thing that's there is Justin and Byron, and they start concocting this story. This story. This very simple story that everybody that knew Anastasia would believe there is a relationship problem. Everybody knows about. There is her own nature to just kind of storm out of the apartment at The Plaza. There is this, like, constant bickering. And she has this fight. She gets out. She walks away, and they drive off.

That's the story and that's the nucleus of where she is stuck. She is no longer reaching out to them. She is stuck with it. So that's the story.

The next day, after she goes back, you know they do some things, and she described that for you. It's like how are they going to reach out of their little nucleus and start including other people in?

They go back to the condo and practice their story about trying to get to Kelly's house for her mother's benefit to kind of get an anchor outside of their group.

Page 1222
Kelly runs right up and tells this simple story that we're in this horrible neighborhood, this bad neighborhood, Erotic City, and she just gets out at night, and we haven't heard from her. Justin is down there calling her now. I hope she is okay.

The mom is the first anchor outside of that group when they're including some other people. Later on there is Kneisley. Tara. Those are other people without Kelly they go and they start talking to her. Little anchors where they can start showing they're normal.

Kelly came, well, the next day, you remember, Kelly is with her mom and sleeps all the way down to the grandmother's nursing home and all the way back. It's the shelter of not interacting with her mother, hoping this goes away, not knowing how to deal with this. And she is 15 years old, and she sees a horrible, horrible thing for her to have to deal with.

How do you tell your mother you've been a part of it? How do you tell anybody? She can't figure it out.

Page 1223
Now, she went to Sergeant Kilgore that Friday. Her mother took her and took Byron. They both told the same simple story. Byron's story gives you more insight of, even if their story is true, the cruel indifference that is displayed that when she leaves the car. "We just go by. I don't even think anything of it. We don't even talk about it in the car back to The Plaza. We just play Nintendo when we get there. We're there for about a half hour. Friend Kneisley calls. I go take care of my friend. He's got a favor. Got to get that curfew thing taken care. We go over there." It's about an hour and a half after this little girl drops off in a bad area at night before anybody thinks, "Well, I'll call her family." An hour and a half. Such indifference tells you that story didn't start being true from the beginning.

What Justin has done, even though he's not here, he does tell us things through our evidence.

Page 1224
The documents that we introduced and the pictures we introduced are all things you can ask for to have up to the jury room. The documents shows that Justin bought a shotgun in September of 1997, beginning of September.

The documents show that the day after this murder, Justin goes and buys another shotgun. He has to. They threw away the shotgun just like Kelly told you. Justin can't deal with this. Does the news know it yet? No. Does Justin know it? Yes. He has to go get another shotgun. They threw away the other one.

At 10 o'clock, when The Bullet Hole opens, he's the first customer in. He buys a shotgun. The document shows what kind of slug did that man come in and tell you he bought? What ammo for the shotgun?

He didn't buy the pellet. He bought the deer shot slug, same type of slug that would be used in a shotgun to cause injuries that occurred to Anastasia. He bought the same ammo. He bought the same weapon to go kill himself.

Byron, another part of this evidence tells us a lot. And he tells us it's a lie if you analyze what he's saying.

Page 1225
Byron lied to Kilgore and made sure that he told you, and he agreed with me, he told the truth to Sergeant Kilgore, and he was telling you the same thing.

Now, the defense in examination of Mr. Case here didn't go into a lot of detail. I know I was slow, and I know I was deliberate, and I know I was stubborn yesterday getting all of it in, all from a very self-serving statement. All gratuitous for Sergeant Kilgore, to mention the suicide stuff.

"Oh, by the way, after we're driving down Truman, he just happened to mention him being suicidal because of thig big argument, but I really don't know. I didn't take him seriously." Of course, they know Justin is missing. They know Justin was never missing. Justin was at the condo all the time. He knows he's not there. "Just in case he's really gone, in case something really happened, I'll just mention that."

Page 1226
You know, when you were a kid or when you had kids and they lied to you, they get in trouble many, many times about the lie than what they did. You know that? I know my dad taught me that way. Caught in a lie. And I know I've done my son the same way.

When you lie to a parent, that's where you start. That's where you start. And a parent doesn't care enough to say you're lying and to teach you it's more important not to lie but take responsibility for what you have done, a child begins to think he's a good liar. If nobody ever confronts somebody with that lie, they continue to lie. That's what's happened. What insight do you have into the lie? How bizarre, how unbelievable that statement was to Sergeant Kilgore?

And the phone call. Will you tell me why he had to kill her? The answer is, "I'm tired. I'm sick. I don't want to talk now." It is not. The answer is, "We shouldn't talk about this." if you want to listen to this tape again, ask the judge. I'm reading it. You read it. "We shouldn't talk about this."

Page 1227
Well, why not if all she did was get out of the car?

The next phone conversation, "Can we just talk about this?"

The answer is: "No."

And there is some advice, if you'll remember it. Keep if mind the way he testified. "Kelly, you got to talk -- here is some advice I can give you." It's on the tape. "Start everything with 'I think' or 'the best that I can remember.'" "I think", "the best that I can remember even though I read all of these reports and I'm prepared to come here and tell the truth", that's the best his own attorney can get out of him. Of course, I could get him to focus on this report.

Another thing I want you to remember about that tape and ask to hear it, he's so sick, his mother or a woman, goes and gets him. You can hear it. It's not in the transcript, but you'll hear it.

"Byron, Byron, Byron, telephone." Mom knows he's so sick. Goes and gets him. Comes to the phone. There is a lot of conversation before he says, "We shouldn't talk about this."

Page 1228
He's a liar. You have to come back and say, "There is a liar." You have to do that. The liar is Byron Case. All the evidence in its entirety tells us that.

When you come back, tell the Defendant, as she said, what he knows. You're doing your part. That's your responsibility, following his instructions, applying this law. That is the jury's responsibility in the case, and I trust you will do it.

Thank you very much.

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