ALPENA — A dozen jurors should contemplate greater than 100 items of proof and the testimony of no less than 36 witnesses, offered over 70-plus hours of testimony, as they start deliberations this morning within the trial of former Alpena Public Faculties instructor Heather Winfield.
A former pupil accused Winfield of partaking in a two-year sexual relationship with him, starting in the summertime of 2016, when he was between 11 and 13 years outdated. Winfield denies the costs.
After nine-and-a-half days of testimony, attorneys on Tuesday offered their closing arguments, summarizing the proof set earlier than jurors for the reason that trial started with jury choice at Alpena’s APlex on Sept. 7.
Jurors should contemplate whether or not the instructor or the coed managed the connection between the 2, attorneys stated.
Alpena County Prosecutor Cynthia Muszynski depicted Winfield as a predator, grooming the alleged sufferer intentionally in preparation for her personal sexual gratification by inviting the troubled youth into her dwelling and showering him with presents and a focus.
The Information doesn’t establish alleged survivors of sexual assault.
The defendant exploited the alleged sufferer’s vulnerability to manage him and hold her his, even on the threat of her family, the prosecutor stated.
Management really lay within the arms of the alleged sufferer, the protection countered.
Legal professional Matt Wojda described Winfield as crushed down by an arc of escalating violence because the alleged sufferer tried to control his former instructor by means of verbal and bodily abuse.
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Calling the testimony of an FBI agent describing grooming habits “extraordinarily flawed,” Wojda enumerated inconsistencies within the alleged sufferer’s testimony and stated the jury shouldn’t belief the now-17-year-old’s tales of rampant intercourse between himself and Winfield, typically allegedly in entrance of different folks or in public.
Throughout his testimony earlier within the trial, the alleged sufferer stated he has no reminiscence of the date Winfield stated he raped her in her dwelling when the boy was 13.
Neither aspect launched Google location knowledge, which twice precipitated the trial’s postponement. Two years in the past, the info had not but arrived by the point of the trial. Final 12 months, the knowledge arrived days earlier than the trial was to start.
The info may have indicated who was current within the resort rooms allegedly visited by Winfield and the boy for intercourse.
That info couldn’t be used as a result of the prosecution didn’t present the professional testimony Choose Roy Hayes dominated can be required to clarify it to the jury.
With the conclusion of Tuesday’s closing statements, the trial shifted onto the laps of the jurors who’ve watched and listened from the juror’s field for 11 days.
Two of the 14 jurors ― chosen by random draw by Hayes ― should function alternates, unable to take part in deliberations after sitting by means of the total trial. Hayes expressed thanks and apologies to the 2, who have been launched late on Tuesday.
Jurors should resolve by unanimous verdict whether or not the prosecution has confirmed all or any of seven expenses in opposition to Winfield:
∫ Separate expenses of partaking in intercourse with an individual beneath 13 on no less than two events,
∫ Making sexual contact with an individual beneath 13,
∫ Having intercourse with an individual between 13 and 15,
∫ Engaging or soliciting a minor to have intercourse,
∫ Sexually assaulting that minor in reference to that enticement, and
∫ Utilizing a pc, cellphone, or the web to solicit a toddler to have intercourse.
Julie Riddle may be reached at 989-358-5693, email@example.com or on Twitter @jriddleX.