Closing statements made in Jennings trial after star witness testifies
Thu, 06 Sep 2012 14:06:27 GMT —
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH / AP) -- Jurors are delaying their deliberations in the Zinah Jennings trial.
The 23-year-old mother is being tried on an unlawful conduct toward a child charge in the disappearance of the her son, Amir. The boy was 18-months-old when he was last seen last Thanksgiving.
A judge is allowing jurors to return Friday morning to begin discussing the case against Jennings.
Police say Jennings lied to them about where the boy is. Jennings says she left the boy somewhere safe but won't give details.
Some of the dozens of prosecution witnesses testified the young mother said she was stressed and needed a break from the boy. Jennings' mother said she doesn't believe her daughter would have ever harmed him.
Attorneys wrapped up their case Thursday afternoon. Jennings was offered a chance to take the stand in her defense but told a judge she did not want to testify.
On Thursday,the owner of a Lexington consignment store testified she saw Zinah with her son nearly a month after the boy was reported missing.
Laura Beaver said she saw Amir Jennings with his mother at her store in late December 2011.
Police have said Amir was last seen in late November when he went to a bank with his mother, Zinah Jennings. But Beaver says she saw the boy just before Christmas 2011.
The investigator who testified for the prosecution said the last time Amir Jennings was seen was on November 29.
Because the witness comments contradict each other, Jennings' attorney requested a mistrial.
The judge denied the mistrial.
In jail house phone calls played by prosecutors Wednesday,
Jennings' mother expresses worry
about the boy's whereabouts and pleads with her daughter to cooperate with police. Jocelyn Jennings Nelson testified for her daughter, saying she never felt Jennings would harm her son.
Jennings, who gave birth to a second child this week, faces 10 years in jail if convicted.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)