A Sharper Opening
Deputy District Attorney Erik Lamphere has served as prosecutor in both the first-degree murder trials of Kyle Sebastian Stott and co-defendant Derek Lee Hernandez.
Lamphere made the opening statements in both trials. His approach today in the Hernandez trial, however, was significantly different. It seemed more anecdotal with more of a narrative approach.
For example, here’s a scene how he described the night of Jan. 5, 2009 as the two suspects drove 22-year-old Jason Holley to a remote spot in North Cheyenne Cañon
“Kyle Stott asked not once but twice ‘what would it be like to kill somebody?,” Lamphere said. “The defendant (Hernandez) doesn’t answer because murder is on his mind as well.”
As in the first trial, Lamphere told the jury how Holly had been diagnosed with Klinefelter’s syndrome, a genetic disorder from having one extra x-chromosome. As before, he explained this left Holley with a lack of good judgment and difficulty in reading people. But then he added:
“He also had difficulty in reading evil.”
Lamphere said Holley “was always in the moment. Whatever was suggested he was all about that.”
Perhaps I missed those lines in the first trial, but today’s opening seemed a bit sharper.
You be the judge. Here’s a link to the story on the opening statements in the Stott trial:
The Other Guy
Hernandez’ defense attorney Jennifer Stock took a similar approach to one used by Stott’s attorneys: pin the murder on the other guy.
“Derek Hernandez did not kill Jason Holley. Kyle Stott killed Jason Holley,” she told the jurors.
“Not only did Kyle Stott kill Jason Holley, but the Stott family pointed fingers and tried to frame Derek Hernandez,” she said.
She challenged the prosecution claim that the murder involved a stolen Xbox 360 game system.
Hernandez already had an Xbox, she said.
Kyle Stott was the defendant who had a fascination with knives, she added. He and a friend would practice using them on water balloons, she told the jury.
Unlike the earlier trial though, Stock said the defense will present evidence that showed that Holley “idolized” gangs and had gang graffiti in his room.
She also suggested that the reason why Holley was wearing only boxer shorts was because the purpose of going to the canyon with Stott was for “a sexual encounter up there in the woods.”
I don’t remember that theory being raised in the earlier trial.