May it please the Court?
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury,
Today, you have been called by the state to take a test. This test has but one, true/false question: “Richard Steven Mantooth is guilty of burglary of a habitation.” You don’t have to go this alone, though. We will paint a picture for you, one which will lead you to the correct answer. Consider the facts and evidence carefully, though, because only the correct answer will lead to justice being served.
Joseph and Katharine Bass are your neighbors. Like all of you, they live in
Then, just after they rang in the new year last year, something happened to their serene world. On January 17th, while her husband was at work, Katharine was called away on an errand, a short jaunt from home, one of those things that we all have to do from time to time. Like most errands, she was not gone long, less than an hour. But that’s all it took to destroy the tranquility the Basses found in our town.
It was like those “what’s different in this picture” invasions – one where everything looked right, but was certainly not. The house seemed normal enough at first glance, but quickly, Katharine noticed something askew. The Bass’ bedrooms, the most private places in their home, where they felt most secure, had heard the steps of foreign feet. Their dressers, probed by strange hands, dirty fingers rifling the private recesses of their home.
These hands didn’t stop at disturbing the security the Basses had come to know in our town. They took from the Basses. The police report said jewelry and radios, total value between $2500 and $300 were stolen, but that’s only because there were no boxes marked security, or memories, and no report could estimate the sentimental value of those items stolen.
The next day, January 18th, the police receive a call from a local pawn shop. A man was in, trying to sell jewelry and radios – the very same items those foreign footsteps walked off with from the Bass house the day before. That man was Richard Steven Mantooth.
The state will introduce evidence demonstrating that Richard Steven Mantooth entered into the Bass’ home at
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, the state has one question for you to answer: “Richard Steven Mantooth is guilty of burglary of a habitation, true or false?” By the end of this trial, you will have been provided with all the information you will need to reach the right conclusion. If you believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Richard Mantooth is guilty of burglary of a habitation, then you will answer true. If there is ANY reasonable doubt, after hearing all the evidence, then you will answer false. Your answer will be the right answer, so make sure you are well prepared to find it.