Jury hears closing arguments in Ketchner murder case

Deliberations are next step

Darrell Ketchner

Darrell Ketchner

KINGMAN - The jury in the Darrell Ketchner murder trial heard closing arguments from both sides Wednesday, and could deliberate on the case today.

Both sides agree that Ketchner stabbed Ariel Allison to death and attacked her mother, Jennifer Allison, on July 4, 2009.

At issue is whether Ketchner had a plan to kill someone in mind the night he went to the Allison home.

It's the difference between first-degree murder, which could lead to the death penalty, and second-degree murder, which could lead to life in prison.

"The defendant was angry and it wasn't the kind that was hot and passionate. It was the kind you nurse," County Attorney Megan McCoy told the jury.

"He immediately moved to attack Jennifer. There is no talking. There is no knocking."

The blows to Ariel and Jennifer were not glancing blows, she said.

Ketchner's attorney, John Napper, admitted that Ketchner had killed Ariel and attempted to kill Jennifer Allison, but he said the government selectively used evidence to prove their case.

"Much of this case is not in dispute," he said. "But it is unfair and unethical to cherry pick the facts."

He pointed out that Ketchner had a bag with him containing prescription medications, a change of clothes and his reading glasses. It was an overnight bag. Ketchner also had his ID on him, Napper said.

Napper pointed out that most people do not carry their reading glasses, ID and prescriptions with them when they attempt to commit murder.

Ketchner had a key to the home and knew there was a gun in the back bedroom.

"If he had pre-planned this, he would have used his key in the back door, gotten the gun and then executed everyone in the house," Napper said.

"How (the murder) was done, that is the issue, not who did it," he said. "There is no pre-plan to kill. Convict him of what he did, but don't let the government go too far."