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Prosecutor in King Trial Delivers Closing Remarks

Aired September 5, 2002 - 15:01   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Now I am receiving word in my ear another story that we have been following. And that is closing arguments in the murder trial in Pensacola, Florida, the trial of two young boys charged with killing their father.
Let's listen in.


DAVID RIMMER, FLORIDA ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Rick Chavis is a child molester. Rick Chavis was molesting Alex. Rick Chavis did have a motive to want to be with Alex.

And I submit to you -- and you will see it in a few moments -- that Alex was motivated by his feelings for Rick Chavis. Alex had extreme feelings for Rick Chavis, which you will see in a few moments with some of these letters that, when Alex took the stand, identified: "Yes, I wrote this. Yes, I wrote that."

He has a motive to want to be with Rick Chavis. Now, again, using your common sense, ask yourself this question. Rick Chavis wants to be with Alex, right? Now, what is the best way for Rick Chavis to continue his relationship with Alex? It's to continue his friendship with Alex's father. Getting rid of Terry King in no way will increase Rick Chavis' access to Alex.

As a matter of fact, if anything were to happen to Terry King, Rick Chavis would not have any further contact with Alex. Where do you think Alex would go? Do you think Alex would be turned over to Rick Chavis? Let's face it. Rick Chavis has a criminal record. Do you really think the state Florida and the Department of Youth and Services and Families and all of that are going to turn over Alex to a convicted criminal, a child molester? Now, do you think Rick Chavis is that dumb to think that, by getting rid of Terry King, he can then have unlimited access to this child? What does your common sense tell you?

Now, if he is afraid that Derek might tell on him -- because Derek is this wild card, as defense counsel referred to him -- if he is afraid that Derek might tell on him, why not get rid of Derek? He has no bond with Derek. Derek, for the past 6 1/2 years, has been living over in Pace with the Lay family. And it's just been Terry King and Alex and Rick Chavis all the time. So, he doesn't have any bond with Derek. And Alex hadn't had a chance to really bond with Derek. Derek had only been back less than two months, less than two months.

So if he is so concerned about Derek, why not do away with Derek? Then he says, well, he is a former volunteer fireman. All right, ask yourself this, again, using your common sense, OK? If Rick Chavis was going to set fire to the house, and if he is an experienced fireman, why would he just set the fire in one room, in fact, the rear room? If he is going to burn the house down, if he is an experienced fireman, he ought to know how to burn the house down, don't you think?

If he is an experienced fireman, don't you think he would pour stuff all throughout the house, in the living room, get rid of the body, burn the body up, burn everything up? Why just for accelerants in one room, in Terry King's bedroom? Why that, if he is an experienced fireman? Why would he do that?

Now, somebody that is not experienced, somebody that does not really know that much about fires might set a fire in the bedroom. Somebody that was enthralled with fire might set a fire in the bedroom like that. Somebody that was enthralled with fire would do that.

Now, again, using your common sense, OK, think about this now. Is it reasonable, is it consistent with your common sense that Rick Chavis would sit Alex down, this 12-year-old kid, and give him all these grisly details, every detail, down to the brains on the wall, the hole in the head, the sound that the bat made when it hit the skull and cracked the skull, the sounds that his father made as he was experiencing what Dr. Cumberland called the death rattle?

Now, what does your common sense tell you? Would Rick Chavis actually say all those things? Does he need to say all those things? If in fact he was the killer, as defense counsel would have you to believe, why would he give all those gory, grisly details? All he has got to do is say: "There was a fight. I killed your dad. I did it for you." As a matter of fact, since he loved Alex, he would spare Alex, he would spare Alex that trauma of all of the details, don't you think?

What does your common sense tell you? Do you think he would really give him all those details? Or would he try to make it as easy for Alex as he could? "Sorry. There was a fight. Your dad died." He doesn't have to give him those details.

Now, think about this. Think about this now. And think about it when you remember when Alex testified in here. Now, Alex only had a day and a half to supposedly remember all these details. Now, is it consistent with your common sense that Rick Chavis is going to give all these details to a 12-year-old kid and expect him to remember it when he is going to be going in to talk to the police?

Nine months ago, ladies and gentlemen. It's been nine months. Alex has had nine months to prepare to testify in this trial. When he testified, did he know any details? Or did he just simply testify like a robot and just answered, "Yes, ma'am, no, ma'am, yes, ma'am, no, ma'am," when defense counsel was questioning him, leading him along? He could not even -- he couldn't give you any details. He just had to follow the leading questions that were being asked of him. Now, if he couldn't prepare in nine months to give you any details, how could he prepare in a day and a half? What does your common sense tell you?

Now, if Rick Chavis came by the house that night to go in there and kill Terry King, why didn't he bring a weapon with him? Alex said he did not have a weapon. Alex said it was the bat down the hall. And that's what Alex and Derek told the police in their confessions. It was the bat down the hall. Again, what does your common sense tell you?

Think about this for a moment. Why did he go back to the scene and make contact with Tony Bain? Why did he do that? I will tell you why he did that. And your common sense will tell you this. The boys tell him the story of what's happened, and he goes back up there to confirm it, to find out if it's true. He goes back up there. He gives him name, his address...

PHILLIPS: You first heard from the defense. Now you're hearing from the prosecutor in the case.

We are talking about closing arguments in Pensacola, Florida, a murder trial that has captured everyone's attention recently. And that is a trial that concerns two young boys charged with killing their father. Right now, jurors are listening to both sides in closing arguments to determine the fate of those two young teens.

As soon as that happens, we will bring it to you live.




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