Closing Statements in Murder Trial

With the testimony wrapped up from both sides, attorneys had a chance to argue their side of the case.

Iowa Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown gestures Friday to a screen showing a picture of Edward “Eddie” Breuer during his closing argument in Des Moines County District Court in the first-degree murder and kidnapping trial of Majestic Alexander Malone, third from left, and Markell Dishe Price, not pictured. The jury will return Tuesday to begin deliberations. [Craig Neises/]

According to Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown, Eddie Breuer, who was allegedly killed by Markell Price and Majestic Malone, was a small man. He was one hundred and fourteen pounds. Brown said Eddie was so small the defendants could have throw him over their shoulder.

He described for the jurors the horrors Eddie faced in his last minutes alive. How he went from walking and talking to lying face down dead in the dirt in front of the porch of an Acres Street apartment. He said the defense would try to say there wasn’t enough time to commit the actions, but Scott argued that if lives can be ruined in seconds, why can’t murders be committed in minutes.

He said that while the defense would try to pin the murder on Owen Laird, Laird’s behavior was in no way consistent with this argument. Seven people had been present at the time Breuer was killed. However, within just a few moments, Owen was left to take the blame. Brown pointed to the fact that Laird was at home. He said Laird could have cleaned up the crime scene and changed his clothing, but instead he called 911 right away. When Police arrived, Laird still had bloody clothing and blood on his hands.

In contrast, he said Price and Malone left the scene quickly. He said when police searched their residences, there was no clothing found that matched what they wore that day. He said the two had disposed of the evidence, showing that they knew what they were doing and that they had committed the act.

Curtis Dial, a defense lawyer for Majestic Alexander Malone, addresses members of the jury Friday during closing arguments in the first-degree murder and kidnapping trial of Malone and Markell Dishe Price. The men are accused of killing Edward “Eddie” Breuer on March 17 in Burlington. [Craig Neises/]

Attorney Curtis Dial said the one thing no one can argue against is that Breuer died a horrible senseless death that should have never happened. He said that justice should absolutely be served, but that convicting two innocent men isn’t justice.

Just as his case had relied on the videos taken from security cameras, so too did his closing arguments. He went through the videos for the jurors, using a laser pointer to talk about where witnesses had gone and compared that to testimony. Dial concluded that there is no way witnesses had told the truth on the stand because the video contradicted their statements.

At several points in the video, Dial pointed out that Eddie Breuer had been left on the lawn for minutes at a time with no one stopping him from leaving. Dial said that maybe the reason no one was concerned about Eddie running away was because Eddie was already unable to move, long before the defendants were on the scene.

Heidi Van Winkle, defense lawyer for Markell Dishe Price in his first-degree murder and kidnapping trial along with Majestic Alexander Malone, for allegedly killing Edward “Eddie” Breuer on March 17 in Burlington, addresses a Des Moines County District Court jury Friday during closing arguments. After getting the case late Friday, the jury will begin deliberations Tuesday morning. [Craig Neises/]

When Dial had concluded his argument Defense Attorney Hedi Van Winkle left off where he stopped. She said that while there had been many witnesses testify, little of the testimony matched what was fact.

She went through exactly what Owen Laird said happened that day. She took the jury, through photographs taken by crime scene techs, through the events Laird said happened in the course of just three minutes, though she said Evan Laird’s testimony would have put the time the murder could take place at just over one minute. She pointed out that just talking the jurors through the events of that day with the photos took her much more than three minutes, so how could the defendants have done as Owen Laird had said.

She questioned how Breuer could have been dragged down the steps without leading a trail showing where he had been dragged. She also pointed to the piles of items in the house. She said that if Crime Scene Techs had to stop their cameras to step over debris, how could a man have been dragged out without disturbing the evidence. She also showed the jurors a photo of the spot on the steps he said he was standing when the murder happened. She showed the jurors that even standing at the top of the steps, there would have been no way to see what was going on. Owen Laird had said he was standing in the curve of the steps and at that point, even less could be seen.

Beyond the impossibilities Laird’s statements, she also attacked the statements of the two minor witnesses. She said that while the two minor witnesses said they were scared from what they witnessed, but Van Winkle showed a video where the truck they were in stopped in front of Evan Laird’s Vehicle moments after the prosecution says the murder happened. When the passenger’s side of the vehicle was once again visible, the window was rolled down. She argued that they had not simply left but had stopped and spoken with Markell Price. She said when the vehicle disappears on Elm Street, there is no way to know if the vehicle had left or if it had stopped.

She also said that the Medical Examiner had said Eddie had bled a lot, but there were just drops of blood at the scene. She asked where the blood was and said that, perhaps the blood was on the clothing of Stanley Baldwin and Owen Laird, who’s blood stains were described for the jury but were not present.

Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown said the notion that the state was attempting to hide evidence was ludicrous. Brown also said the defendants had all of the physical evidence with them and disposed of it. He said showed the Jury the clean underside of the shoes of Markell Price and posited that there’s no way those shoes were not brand new. He also said that it was impossible to tell which shoes Majestic Malone were wearing at the time of the crime.

As to the accusation that the four witnesses had lied on the stand, he mocked the idea that four teenagers could hold together a complex lie on the stand. He pointed out that the youngest witness was just fourteen years old. He said there is no way a fourteen year old girl could concoct such a lie and manage to tell the same lie over and over again.

Jurors in the case did not have time to begin their deliberations and will instead begin on Tuesday.