At about 1:30 p.m. District Attorney Greg Edwards gave the final defense argument in the murder trial of Von Hamilton.
Edwards stated that after Von Hamilton fired the first shot from a position on the floor, the forensic evidence from the angles of the shots meant she probably stood to struggle with Donaldson. Then she fired the fatal shot to his lower chest.
Under the law malice can be formed in a split second, Edwards said. The time between what was probably her first shot to Donaldson's groin and the next shot allowed for her to form malice, he said.
A pathologist did not determine which shot was fired first, but Edwards said it was reasonable to believe she fired first from the floor and then stood up.
Using reason and common sense, Edwards said that the jury should "cling to the things of which there is no doubt."
- She admitted shooting Donaldson twice.
- She borrowed the gun three days before the shooting.
- After years of supposed abuse she got a gun and Donaldson is dead.
- She had the safety off.
- She hid the gun and a knife under the sofa.
- Her admitted intention was to at least "scare" Donaldson.
- She chose not to go to the police, Donaldson's probation officer or a shelter for battered women.
Edwards said, "The direction she chose , a gun and a knife, resulted in Christopher Donaldson's death."
Judge Willie Lockette will instruct the jury on the law involving the charges against Von Hamilton: malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault. Then the jury will retire to deliberate the verdict.
In morning arguments:
According to procedure the prosecution went first. Assistant District Attorney Cania Brown-Gordon accused murderer Marla Von Hamilton did not act of fear when she fatally shot her ex-husband. She was frustrated that she couldn't get him to leave her alone, so she carried out her plan to kill him.
Defense attorney Johnnie Graham stated in her argument that Von Hamilton had been beaten on several occasions, placed in terror for her life and raped by Donaldson at least once. Graham said on the night Von Hamilton shot Donaldson she believed she had to act in self-defense or be killed.