Gomez Trial Goes To The Jury – Prosecution Closing Argument Asks Jury To ‘Follow The Path’ To A Guilty Verdict
The deliberate homicide trial of Emmanuel Gomez was delivered into the hands of the jury at noon on Monday, after closing arguments by the prosecution and the defense.
Prosecutor Jordan Kilby began her closing with a statement allegedly made by the defendant.
"If you ever leave me,I'll kill you," Kilby began. "That is what the defendant said to Charlie Ann Wyrick as he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her back into his vehicle.He told her what he would do to her. She knew that he meant what he said, and he murdered her. I will ask you to find justice for Charlie for what he did to her and what he did to her family, and to let Mr. Gomez know he cannot get away with murder."
Kilby led the jury into the definitions of the charges against Gomez, partner or family member assault and deliberate homicide, then described the relationship with Gomez as being filled with terror and fear for her life.
"On the way back (from Helena with her best friend, Kimmee) Charlie described her fear of the defendant," she continued. "Every time he took her out to a wooded area Charlie was afraid because she thought that he was taking her there to kill her. When Charlie went missing on December 24th, 2015, her friend Kimmee told (Missoula Police Detective) Stacey Lear where to find Charlie because Charlie had told her, and she was right."
After walking the jury through mounds of physical evidence, Kilby told the jury what arguments the defense might present.
"Ms. Kaufman said in her opening that the state has nothing more than assumption and guessing , and she'll say we didn't prove our case beyond a reasonable doubt, but she's wrong," she said. "We can't tell you everything that happened, but we can tell you more than enough to put the picture together. What you have before you is a person who beat the person he purportedly loved. He choked her, he broke her nose, gave her a concussion and pulled out her hair and injured her ribs. The beatings became more frequent and severe, and finally, he broke her will, You have a person who told Charlie 'I will kill you'. He took her to the place in the woods where her body would eventually be found. She said 'if I ever go missing, look for my body in Pattee Canyon'."
KIlby told the jury that Gomez built a path that led from domestic abuse to the next step of murder.
"You don't have to take a monstrous leap to find him guilty," she concluded. "We, too have built you a path, and finding him guilty is the next step on that path."
In her closing argument, public defender Lisa Kaufman attempted to reduce the severity of the abuse allegedly performed by her client.
"If all these people were so concerned about Charlie's welfare, if all these people had heard that she had a boyfriend who said he was going to kill her and dump her body and do all these horrible things, then why didn't anyone, anywhere, family, friends. coworkers, call the police? " she asked. "Not one single person who came in here to tell you how scary it was, how brutally he beat her, nobody thought it was serious enough to call the police."
Kaufman also asked the jury to consider that if law enforcement had to use snowmobiles and ATV's to recover Charlie Wyrick's body because of the deep snow, how could Gomez have made it to the area to dump the body.
Then, Kaufman reminded the jury that Gomez was charged with two separate crimes, partner or family member assault and deliberate homicide.
"You can find him guilty of one and not the other," she said. "With the dump truck of evidence, they have failed to prove that Manny (Gomez) or anyone else, deliberately and purposely killed Charlie Wyrick."
The jury began their deliberations just after noon on Monday. If found gulity of deliberate homicide, Gomez could get life in prison.