Professor Gwen Roseman Stern offered insights about two murder trials on Dan Abrams’ Law & Crime Network on June 6.
The director of the Trial Advocacy program, Stern appraised the performance of prosecutors and defense attorneys in two of the cases covered by the network: the trial of Brenda Delgado, a Texas woman accused in a murder-for-hire plot and the penalty phase of Timothy Jones, a South Carolina man convicted of murdering his five children.
During an interview with Brian Buckmire, Stern said the prosecution has presented a strong case against Delgado, in part by introducing evidence and testimony that she’d asked a friend to loan her a vehicle that was used by the getaway driver to use.
“She clearly—by getting this jeep involved instead of using her regular vehicle—is trying to disguise the getaway vehicle," Stern said. "I think it definitely helps the prosecution."
And in an interview with Aaron Keller, Stern shared insights about the prosecution’s case in Delgado’s trial as well as arguments made in the penalty phase of Jones, who had pled not guilty by reason of insanity.
Prosecutors did an excellent job in the Delgado case, Stern said, citing an array of witnesses who testified that the defendant had been seeking someone to kill dentist Kendra Hatcher, who was dating the defendant’s ex-boyfriend.
“The state put on the defendant’s cousin, who said she asked him to kill the dentist and put on her friend. They have no reason to lie at all,” Stern said. “The cousin—you could tell it pained him to testify against her.”
Stern also predicted that jury in the Jones case will give him the death penalty, despite evidence provided by the defense that he suffered from mental illness and a brain injury.
“I thought the state did a great job at pulling at the heart strings of these jurors,” Stern said. “It was gut wrenching to listen to these witnesses today showing the pictures, talking about the impact on them of the death of these children. In my opinion there is no way that this defendant is not getting the death penalty.”