Jurors hear testimony in Thurman trial
SPOKANE, Wash. — Attorneys made opening statements in the manslaughter case against Dwayne Thurman on Wednesday morning, after a two-day jury selection process.
Prosecutor John Love appealed to the facts of the case, telling the jury why and how he hoped to prove that Brenda Thurman’s death was recklessly caused by her husband.
Thurman’s defense attorney, Carl Oreskovich, took his time on the opening, detailing the story of how Brenda and Dwayne met and got to know each other, before delving into the details of the case. He told the jury he was “confident” that by the end of the trial, they would conclude her death to be a tragic accident.
Among the first witnesses called were Gabrielle Corriette, Brenda Thurman’s daughter and her friend who had stayed over at the Thurman house the night before the shooting.
That friend and Corriette were in bed upstairs at the time of the shooting, but both told the court they woke up to a loud noise, followed by what sounded like “dishes crashing.”
Corriette went downstairs, after hearing her adoptive father call her name. She told the court she asked Thurman “What happened? What did you do,” to which, she said, he responded “a gun went off.”
Thurman told Corriette to call 911, but when she went to get her phone upstairs, it was dead. She said when she came back down, Thurman had called for help. The two ended up taking Brenda to the hospital themselves. They were not far from the hospital, but drove at speeds of approximately 90 miles an hour, according to a detective who arrived on scene as Corriette was pulling out of the driveway and then followed her to the hospital.
Other detectives testified to the state Dwayne Thurman was in at the hospital later that day. Several said he was sobbing continuously, rocking back and forth and, at one point, vomited into a sink. Another said, at one point, Thurman was seated on the ground, attempting to curl into a fetal-like position.
One detective told the court Thurman said the shooting was his “fault”- that the “gun just went off.”
After the lunch break, the jury was set to hear testimony from a firearms expert who examined the gun after the shooting. That witness was, according to the prosecutor, expected to testify that the gun was not malfunctioning and there was no defect. The defense has stated that the gun, which was a birthday gift for Brenda, had “stovepiped” at the shooting range the day before.
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