To Keller's credit, though, on Monday he delivered a cogent closing argument that raised the specter of "reasonable doubt." His last-ditch appeal may have persuaded a few jurors to question the prosecution's circumstantial evidence. Keller's surprisingly effective close came after two weeks of fumbling through cross-examinations of prosecution witnesses during which Fitzpatrick belittled his opponent as less competent than a first-year law student. Then, when presenting his defense case, Keller called Stacey's fianc (c), Michael Ochsner, who admitted lying to the grand jury about a suspicious pill bottle. Oops.
During cross-examination, the DA lashed out at Ochsner, referring to his alcohol use and an anti-Obama joke he told on a wiretap, "You're a drunk! You're a racist! You're a perjurer," Fitzpatrick shouted sarcastically. "You're going to make someone quite a catch, aren't you?" Keller objected and Judge Joe Fahey sustained it, one of the few times the judge ruled against the DA.
Loving mom or ice queen?
As she testified in her own defense, Stacey often used her left hand to brush her long reddish-grey hair from her right forehead. Such simple gestures coupled with her forthright manner may have convinced the jury of her humanity, but her chilly demeanor under 95 minutes of heated cross-examination by Fitzpatrick made her look like an implacable ice queen, capable of anything.
She barely flinched when Fitz had her confess to enlisting two friends to falsify and back-date David Castor's will, suggesting her motive for offing the husbands was the more than $100,000 she'd get from their estates and insurance policies.
Yes, Castor remained cool as a cucumber and also displayed a flair for simple similes:
Michael Wallace "smoked like a chimney," she testified. David Castor snored "like a chainsaw." Ashley and a certain teacher were "like oil and water."
Stacey testified bluntly about her family's internal strife. On the weekend he died, David and she argued long and hard about the two daughters. He wanted to take a vacation without them. She wanted to bring Bree, but he refused and started slamming Southern Comfort. Sometime over the weekend his cocktails were laced with antifreeze, a type of poisoning that causes a slow and agonizing shutdown of the inner organs.