4:30 p.m.: The jury in the Carbaugh trial has asked to be dismissed for the day. Judge John S. Kennedy has granted that request.
The jury — seven women and five men — will return at 9 a.m. Friday.
2:20 p.m.: Defense attorney Steve Rice conceded, “If there was no blood on the gun, this case is over.”
He reminded the jury that Brandon’s blood was found on his own gun, showing that he was armed when he was killed.
Investigators found the gun in the house, raising the suspicion that Brandon might have been unarmed when he was shot.
Rice told the jury that “not a soul came in here” to testify that Justin was not the type of person who walked away from confrontation. The brothers’ mother testified that, when Brandon would explode at the dinner table, Justin would quietly gather his plate and go to his room to eat.
Rice described the Carbaugh household as a “pressure cooker.”
He said Paige Carbaugh was a mother who loved her son Brandon but didn’t know what to do about him, his drug addiction and his rages.
“It was a sheer twist of fate that the circumstances are what the are today,” he said, explaining it could just as reasonably be Brandon sitting at the defense table.
He said the case came down to “someone who was pushed over the edge, someone who snapped after years of dealing with Brandon.”
Rice recalled Justin’s testimony that he felt Brandon growing marijuana in the house was disrespectful to his grandmother who owned the property.
“What kind of nerve would it take to do something like that?” Rice said. “He was growing marijuana in her house.”
Rice said, after the brothers argued over the marijuana plants, Justin left the house.
“His brother chose to follow him with a gun,” he said. “He didn’t have a gun on him until he came outside. Justin Carbaugh was walking away. Brandon Carbaugh was looking for a confrontation.”
Addressing the fact that Brandon never drew his gun, Rice asked the jury, “Does he (Justin) have to wait to be shot before he shoots?”
Rice also conceded Justin did some “stupid things” after the shooting, meaning the dismemberment.
He said the crime scene “was a mess,” proving Justin was “irrational” at the time.
He said Justin admits to the charge of abuse of a corpse and invited the jury to convict him of that.
But, he said, “this was not in cold blood. If it was a crime at all, it was a crime of passion.”
He asked to jury for a conviction of voluntary manslaughter.
11:15 a.m.: Justin Carbaugh baited his explosive brother into an argument and into following him outside where he could kill him, the prosecution said this morning in closing arguments at Carbaugh’s murder trial.
Carbaugh, 22, is charged with murder and abuse of a corpse for the Aug. 4, 2010, murder of Brandon Carbaugh, 23.
Senior prosecutor Justin Kobeski told the jury, “You may have a picture in your mind of what a murderer looks like, and he’s probably not it.”
But, Kobeski said, “What should offend each and everyone of you the most was (the defense contention) that Brandon’s bullying … caused it all. It was Brandon’s fault. Justin did society a favor. Are you kidding me?”
The jury heard three days of testimony from witnesses including the Carbaugh brothers’ mother and grandmother that Brandon was a foul-mouthed, drug-addicted bully who terrorized the family.
“Anyone in this courtroom who thinks they understand what Paige Carbaugh is going through is a fool,” Kobeski said.
He told the jurors if they believed Justin’s testimony that he fired only in self-defense, the only appropriate verdict was voluntary manslaughter.
The first shot struck Brandon in the chest above the heart, according to trial testimony. The second shot hit him behind the right ear toward the base of the skull. Two more shots struck him in the upper forehead.
Kobeski said of that second shot, “There was nothing self-defense or voluntary manslaughter about that.
“Still, he put two more kill shots into his brother,” he said.
Kobeski said Justin waited for an opportunity when he and his brother were alone in their grandmother’s rural Fawn Grove home.
He confronted Brandon about two marijuana plants he was growing inside the house.
“Brandon got pissed, as he normally does,” Kobeski said.
Then, Justin walked out of the house toward a treeline some 200 yards away.
“Justin walked away,” Kobeski said. “He’s a saint.”
Kobeski reminded the jury that, before the argument, Justin had been making dinner in the kitchen, a gun in a holster at his hip, “with a round in the chamber, which he knows is illegal.”
Wednesday, Justin told the jury he snapped when Brandon confronted him outside the home.
“The magical word — snap,” Kobeski said. “Something turns a person into a killer. If you want to call it snapped, so be it.”
Kobeski said Justin faced “no immediate threat” from Brandon when he put his hand on his own gun.
“He didn’t say, ‘I’m going to shoot you.’ He posed a question, maybe it was rhetorical. ‘What the —- are you going to do about it?’” Kobeski said.
“Justin showed him what he was going to do about it.”
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Justin Carbaugh testifies about killing, dismembering his brother