Both sides rest in teacher murder trial

June 12, 2012 2:20:51 PM PDT
Both sides have rested in the trial of a man who shot and killed his neighbor over a loud party. Jurors will hear from prosecutors and Raul Rodriguez's attorneys one last time in the morning.

Mindy Danaher broke down in tears on the witness stand. She was inside their home when her husband, Kelly, was killed after an argument over loud music.

On Tuesday Danaher told the jury, "I know my husband. He would have said 'turn it down.' He doesn't want problems with anybody, ever."

Rodriguez shot and killed elementary school teacher Kelly Danaher in May 2010. Rodriguez, who took home video of the shooting, is claiming self-defense.

But on Tuesday the jury also heard from a neighbor.

She told the jury Rodriguez came by her house with a handgun a few months before the shooting and gave her advice for using guns, saying, "If I was to shoot somebody I had to make sure police knew I was in fear for my life. I would be able to defend myself like that and avoid prosecution by the state of Texas."

Perhaps the most dramatic statement of the day came after Rodriguez's defense team rested without bringing any witnesses to the stand.

His attorney said, "Why would we? The state didn't prove its case."

But KTRK legal analyst Joel Androphy says not testifying in your own behalf sends a strong message to the jury.

"The defense felt that this is not a witness they felt that they could win their case with," Androphy explained. "They need to win it with the video camera and the state's testimony. They didn't think they could win it with their own client, which says something to everybody."

Closing arguments will be held Wednesday morning.

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