July 3, 2013
LIMA — A defense attorney wants to keep a dead man from talking.
James E. Gipson cannot walk into a courtroom and testify about the day he died, but he did tell his girlfriend what he was about to do that led to his death.
Prosecutors want his testimony admitted, through his girlfriend, into evidence in the murder case against Charles E. McGuire Jr. McGuire is charged with murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery in the Dec. 27 fatal stabbing of Gipson.
The case is interesting in a sense that McGuire was nowhere near Gipson when he was killed.
According to police, McGuire sent Gipson to a house to collect on a debt. Gipson threatened to harm the people inside with a crowbar if the debt was not paid and got killed when the people inside acted in self-defense.
Gipson agreed to collect the debt so McGuire would forgive him of a debt he owed, according to police.
Prosecutor Juergen Waldick told the judge the statements can be weighed by the jury to determine how much credibility should be given.
“What we have is the decedent explains to his girlfriend exactly why he is doing this, where he is going and what he intends to do,” Waldick said. “This is crucial to our case. It sets up the chain of events that occurred here.”
Waldick asked Judge David Cheney to overrule the defense motion to toss the statements.
McGuire’s attorney, Joe Benavidez, argued allowing the statements violates the hearsay rule that prevents one person from testifying on what another person said.
Benavidez also argued there is no other evidence to support the statements Gipson allegedly made. Furthermore, Benavidez said police threatened Gipson’s girlfriend to get her to testify.
Judge Cheney said he will review case law and issue a decision in the near future.