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CLARION, IA – The murder trial of a north Iowa teen is wrapping up. Noah Crooks is accused of shooting and killing his mother in their home in March of 2012.
After almost a week of evidence and testimony the state and defense gave the jury their closing arguments.
The state went first stating that the 14-year old talked about, planned, and then went through with the murder of his mother, Gretchen Crooks.
“The defendant acted with malice and forethought, the defendant acted willfully, deliberately, with premeditation and with a specific intent to kill,” says Denise Timmins, the Assistant Attorney General for the state of Iowa.
She continued saying that the state’s medical expert feels strongly that Noah has no mental illness that caused him to act, and that he knew exactly what he was doing at the time of the crime. Finally the state says that the teen acted with malice.
“The last thing that she saw before she died was her own son raising a gun and him pulling the trigger. Do you find that to be evil,” Timmins adds.
Then the defense addressed the jury for the last time re-iterating its stance that Noah suffers from a form of bi-polar disorder called IED which caused the teen to act without any control.
“At the time of the shooting itself, Noah Crooks could not appreciate the nature and consequences of his act, nor could he distinguish between right and wrong at that time,” says his Attorney, William Kutmus.
He asked the jury to take into consideration not just what happened on the night of the shooting but everything that led up to it.
“You’ve all listened to this boy’s background from age 4 and I’ll get to it later common sense alone would tell you this boy is very sick,” adds Kutmus.
Once the defense finished, the state had a final chance for rebuttal.
The jury was then instructed to go to their jury room and choose a foreperson, now I’ve seen several of them filtering out of the courthouse which tells me that decision happened fairly quickly. They’ll return tomorrow morning at 9 am to begin deliberations.
The closing arguments went all afternoon. Judge James Drew wants to make sure the jury members are rested before starting deliberation which is why he sent them home this afternoon.