Murder trial expected to go to jury Friday

The attorneys for a Lake Havasu City man, accused of killing an elderly Kingman couple in 1999 ended their case Thursday after calling only one witness.

Charles David Ellison, 35, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree burglary in the alleged slayings of Lillian Boucher, 73, and her husband Joseph Boucher, 79, and the burglary of their Kingman home Feb.

24, 1999.

Ellison's codefendant, Richard Finch, also from Lake Havasu City, was tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the murders.

During Finch's trial in September 2000, his attorney tried to portray Ellison as the mastermind behind the burglary and the murders.

Vincent Iannone, Ellison's attorney, called Finch's former roommate, Brad Howe, to the stand trying to show that the items stolen from the Bouchers were all in Finch's possession.

Howe told the jury how he found a .22-caliber handgun, a watch and other jewelry in Finch's possession.

Howe said he hid the items in the desert late the night of Feb.

25, and then called local authorities the next day.

Howe also told jurors that Finch acted differently the day after the murders and was carrying about $300 on him, an unusual amount for Finch to possess.

To counter's the defense's strategy, Deputy Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith asked Howe to describe Finch's mental abilities.

"Simple," Howe said.

"Was he a follower or a leader?" Smith asked.

"A follower," Howe said.

Smith also pointed out that Finch never owned a gun or a vehicle and suggested that Finch always did as he was told.

Ellison, who met Finch a week before the murders, allegedly drove Finch to Kingman the night of the murders in his van after asking him to back him up for an out-of-town job.

Finch agreed and the two stopped at a bar, then proceeded to a quiet Kingman neighborhood behind the movie theater.

Ellison and Finch allegedly entered the Boucher's home through a screen window in the kitchen, and then tied up the couple, who slept in separate rooms.

Ellison allegedly held a pillow over Joseph Boucher's face while Finch suffocated Lillian Boucher.

Stolen from the house were a handgun, cash and jewelry, including a 50th anniversary ring.

Kingman police detectives interviewed Finch, who directed them to Ellison, who was arrested March 1.

Closing arguments before Mohave County Superior Court Judge Robert Moon are today with the case going to the jury for a verdict soon after.