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OPENING STATEMENT- DEFENSE

May it please your honors, opposing council, ladies and gentlemen of the jury…
We all take it for granted, don’t we? I mean, you hold your fingers up to your
neck, or to your wrist, and you find your pulse, right? You just expect it to work. You
would never in your wildest dreams think that just like that (snaps), it could stop. Terry
Dagger never saw it coming. He tried his hardest to confront his fear of being submerged
underwater, but it all came crashing down around him as he suffered a massive heart
attack and drowned. Terry left behind but a single relative, his loving wife Randi.
Randi never did get a chance to say goodbye to her husband. She did what she
could to deal with the pain of losing Terry. She went to grief counseling, she dealt with
her emotions, and in time she has tried to move on with her life. But she cannot do that.
And why not? Because one day she was taken into the police station, accused of murder.
Murder? Apparently, she was being charged for the murder of Guy Grimace, the host of
the television show on which Terry Dagger passed away. And now because the police
couldn’t find a murderer, Randi has to relive the entire agonizing and painful memories
of what happened to her husband.
Of course, Guy Grimace was a popular celebrity, so the state police department
has to convict someone in this high publicity case, don’t they? So, who could they blame
for it? Who could they charge? Well, who better than a grieving widow, right?
Wrong, ladies and gentlemen, wrong… wrong… wrong. We live in a country that
has courts of law. You cannot just by chance convict someone like Randi Dagger of cold-
blooded murder. The prosecution must prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Randi
had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to kill Guy Grimace. What means? Does
she even own a gun? Who was the owner of the gun that the state had tested? Isn’t she a
police officer? Hasn’t she been trained all her life to uphold law and order, not destroy it
by becoming a common criminal herself? What opportunity? What was she doing that
day of the murder? How tired was she from training at the police academy all day long?
Who would have had the opportunity? Who hated Guy Grimace enough to do that? And
finally ladies and gentlemen, what motive? Isn’t Randi the last person who would want
to kill Guy Grimace? Doesn’t she know what it is like to lose the closest loved one you
hold dear? Would she even think of doing that to those four poor children who now have
to deal with the loss of their own father, Guy Grimace? Doesn’t she know the pain of
losing a family member, and wouldn’t she be the last person to inflict that kind of pain on
someone else, especially children?
Ladies and Gentlemen, please keep all of these questions in the back of your mind
as you sit here today. Today I, Marco Chomut and Christie Pazdzierski, the co-councils
for the defense, will show you the answers by presenting you with the truth. And if, after
listening to all this testimony, you cannot stand in front of Randi Dagger, look her in the
eyes, and say with one hundred percent certainty that you committed murder, than it is
your duty, it is your obligation, and it is your responsibility to find her Not Guilty. Thank
you.

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