ALBANY, Ga. -- After hearing the defense and prosecution summarize their cases in a brutal beating murder case, a jury couldn't reach a verdict in four hours and 15 minutes.
At about 5:30 p.m., the jury in the Monty C. Simpson case went home for the night. The jury will return at 9 a.m. today to resume.
The 56-year-old Simpson is accused of felony murder, malice murder and aggravated assault for killing his live-in companion Beverly Williams, 51, on March 15 at the Dollar Inn on the 2700 block of North Slappey Boulevard.
What the jury and alternates heard in the time before they started deliberations was what defense and prosecution agreed was a circumstantial case.
According to Assistant District Attorney Kathy Fallin, it didn't matter that no one witnessed the crime, everyone knew it happened.
"Cowards like this coward don't beat people up in front of people," Fallin said. "That is their dirty little secret. They do it behind closed doors."
As to defense attorney Leisa Johnson's contention that Williams had a history of being a falling-down drunk who injured herself, Fallin said that behavior did not give a license to be beaten or killed.
Three previous domestic abuse cases did not measure a relationship that spanned seven years, Johnson said.
When it came to evidence of Simpson's previous brushes with the law for domestic abuse and a guilty plea on charges in September, before the homicide, Fallin said it was a pattern of the relationship.
"The other domestic (violence) calls are relevant," Fallin said. "They show motive, conduct and how he treated her."
For each point Johnson made, including calling the autopsy results into question, Fallin had a reply.
"Why would the examiner who did the autopsy lie?" she asked.
Simpson told his story in so many different ways that it could only be a lie, Fallin said.
The only truth, beyond a reasonable doubt, Fallin said, was that the defendant had a pattern of beating Williams. A defense theory that put someone else in the room that night was pure speculation, she added.
During the trial, Fallin had shown a video of Simpson buying beer at a Chevron convenience store near his motel home at about 4 p.m. Simpson called 911 from a pay phone at 7:30 p.m.
"In those three and a half hours, what did he do?" Fallin said. "He was beating his girlfriend to death."
Fallin added, "No one can speak on her behalf except for you, the jury."