MARIPOSA - In her final attempt to convince the jury of Christopher McCurdy’s
guilt, Deputy District Attorney Kim Fletcher used the defendant’s
own words to help her cause. The case went to the jury late Tuesday afternoon.
McCurdy is accused of the Dec. 16, 2008, shooting death of Lonnie Ritter
of Greeley Hill. He has said the act was in self-defense.
Fletcher indicated that his claim was a farce. To back that up, she played
an audio recording of McCurdy talking to former co-defendant Kevin Hoke
on Jan. 5.
“I’m gonna say it’s self-defense,” McCurdy said
to Hoke. “Help me with that. Stay with that.”
Fletcher said McCurdy’s behavior fit the description of first degree
murder, and that jury didn’t have to believe the claims of McCurdy
or Hoke to make that determination.
She flashed pictures of the dead man and the blood spatters in his home
to the jury. She held the murder weapon in her hand. “These all
tell stories,” she said of the evidence. “They don’t
The prosecutor continued. “You have enough evidence to convict just
on the physical evidence and Mr. McCurdy’s statements,” she said.
The argument likened Mc- Curdy’s behavior to a sort of meditation,
albeit a deadly one. “He spoon fed to himself thoughts about killing,”
Fletcher said referencing a video McCurdy made. “He fed himself
murderous thoughts. He focused on killing.”
That video was a cornerstone of the prosecution’s case, as it showed
McCurdy angrily rapping. She asked the jury who it thought McCurdy might
be talking to in the video. “You,” she answer for them. “The
audience is you. It’s the best evidence you can have.”
McCurdy was described as being in “a murderous mind” at the
time of the crime. Fletcher noted the story changes he gave authorities
throughout the investigation. She reminded them it was Mc- Curdy who used
the word “murder” with investigators before he had even been
told Ritter’s body had been found. “You lost track of the
web you wove,” Fletcher said of Mc- Curdy’s alleged lies.
“You get tangled in the web.”
The victim was only 115 pounds and disabled. He was dying of cancer. Fletcher
said the man’s disabilities made the self-defense claim impossible.
Jeffrey Tenenbaum, had called witnesses that testified they had seen the victim brandish
guns in the past. McCurdy himself testified last week that he felt threatened
and struggled with Ritter for the 9mm gun that he says went off accidentally,
The jury must now decide the fate McCurdy.