Updated 02/01/2012 06:42 PM
Prosecution rests in Marland Brooks trial
After five days and 22 witnesses, the prosecution rests in the Marland Brooks murder trial. Brooks is charged with murdering Clark Van Etten in his Corning home last June. Brooks' attorney attempted to eliminate some of the charges against his client Wednesday, arguing the district attorney did not prove his case. Our Lara Greenberg tells us how the judge ruled.
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STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. -- Motion denied. Despite his lawyer's attempt to eliminate some of the charges against him, Marland Brooks still faces two counts of murder and robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.
Brooks is accused of stabbing and killing Clark Van Etten in his Corning apartment last June.
Five witnesses took the stand Wednesday. One of them was Dan Golden, whose house Brooks and his girlfriend, Samantha Smith, were living in at the time of the killing. He testified that the day after the incident, they saw Van Etten's house on TV.
Dan Golden said he told Samantha Smith if he found anything out, he was going to testify. That's when he says Smith raised a knife to him and threatened to have Marland Brooks kill him. Marland Brooks then came in and punched him.
"The defendant made some admissions about being at the house and being involved in the crime and some of his reactions when the possibility of testimony was raised. So whether it helps or not, that's up to the jury. That's what he gave us was, he was one of the folks who was around," said Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker.
But Brooks' attorney says Golden and a few other witnesses didn't have believable testimonies. That's why he requested the judge drop some of the charges against his client.
"My argument that any evidence that was brought out in regards to the individuals involved clearly lacked credibility, reliability, trustworthiness, voracity and honesty," said defense attorney David Morabito.
A number of officers and investigators testified Wednesday as well. One explained that Brooks first told police he never went to Corning that night and had no idea who Clark Van Etten was.
The defense begins calling witnesses Thursday.
Marland Brooks gave police a second statement a few days after the incident, but it was never entered into evidence. The judge ruled that it may only be used if Brooks testifies.
His attorney hasn't decided if he will call Brooks to the stand.