Closing arguments to continue Friday in triple-murder trial

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - After dozens of witnesses and weeks of testimony the jury will have to wait one more night before they begin deliberating in Charlotte's triple-murder trial. 
 
Justin Hurd is charged with killing Kevin Young, Kinshasa Wagstaff and Wagstaff's niece Jasmine Hines in February 2008.
 
He could face the death penalty if he's convicted.
 
In closing arguments Thursday, attorneys on both sides made their final pitches to the jury.
 
Hurd's attorneys didn't call any witnesses so they would have the first and last word in closing arguments. 
 
Carl Grant would start by going after the two former inmates who'd said Hurd told them about the murders.
 
"They are liars," Grant told the jury.
 
He called them jailhouse snitches who'd say anything to cut their own time in jail.
 
"He's in federal prison for 15 years. He is trying to save his own neck," Grant said to the jury.
 
He also suggested that the prosecution’s case left too many holes and in the end he said prosecutors presented a lot of evidence that three people were murdered but didn't prove that Hurd killed anyone.
 
"How can you make such an important decision with so little evidence?" he asked.
      
Prosecutor Clayton Jones took issue with that.
   
"You need to look at the whole picture," Jones told jurors. 
 
In his closing, he called Hurd an enforcer for a drug cartel who had planned and carried out the murders with an accomplice who was himself murdered eight months later, and Jones would  spend more than two hours methodically walking the jury through weeks of evidence, including DNA that all points to Hurd as the killer.
 
"Justice in this case demands that the defendant be held accountable for his actions. It's time to do justice," Jones said.
 
Hurd's lead attorney Alan Bowman spoke to the jury for about 45 minutes before the judge decided to send the jury home for the night.

Bowman will continue his closing argument Friday morning.
 
The judge will then instruct the jury and send them back to deliberate.