Family members and co-workers have testified this morning about the good qualities of Judge Wade Naramore and his devastation at the death of his son Thomas in a hot car last July after the judge forgot he was in the backseat on a drive to work.
The witnesses included another, his sister-in-law, recounting having briefly forgotten a child in a backseat. She remembered when she reached for a bag she’d put in the backseat.
Still no word if Naramore himself will testify, but the defense is nearing the end of its witness list.
Naramore faces a misdemeanor negligent homicide charge in the death of his son, who was a week short of 18 months old. His father normally took him to daycare, but something caused him to forget that errand on the way to work with his son in the backseat. He discovered his error after a midday trip on errands and home while returning to his office.
At the lunch break, defense said two witnesses remained. Didn’t say who.
UPDATE: Naramore is testifying. He was on the stand more than an hour. He said he cooperated with prosecutors from the beginning and said he was always willing to talk with investigators. He said he testified so that he could tell people what happened and so prosecutors could ask questions.
Marielle Mohs of KTHV Tweeted this about Naramore’s beginning:
Judge Wade Naramore took the stand. Holding a picture of Thomas he cried out “THIS IS THOMAS! THIS IS MY BABY! MY BABY BOY!”
The defense rested after Naramore’s testimony.
Judge John Langston has rejected a defense motion for a directed verdict of acquittal because the case required “blameworthy” conduct. The prosecution counters that the death of the child proves carelessness. A discussion of jury instructions followed.
The closing arguments began about 4 p.m., with 45 minutes total for both sides.
Update: The jury moved quickly, split at 10-2 after about an hour. Urged to deliberate more, the jury returned to report a 11-1 split with a firm holdout. At that point, the defense asked for a mistrial. The judge gave them a charge to try to decide the case and sent them back to talk more.
UPDATE: KARK reports a not guilty verdict about 7:20 p.m.