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The man accused of going on a shooting rampage that killed one woman and injured two other people will not testify.
The defense attorney for Toby Stangel decided not to call him on the witness stand on Monday and instead rested its case.
Judge Glenn Kim: “They cannot hold your silence against you in deciding this case, do you understand that?”
Stangel will not be telling his side of the story regarding the highway shooting spree in June 2011.
His attorney says there was no need to put Stangel on the stand because prosecutors didn’t have a strong enough case, but a legal expert KHON2 spoke to disagrees.
“As far as the prosecution is concerned, all they have to show is that Toby Stangel intentionally or knowingly caused the death of these individuals and in attempt as well,” former prosecutor Don Pacarro said.
Stangel faces a murder charge for killing 54-year-old Tammy Nguyen and attempted murder charges for injuring two others as well as firing shots at Honolulu police officers.
Stangel’s attorney admits that his client fired the shots, but he says prosecutors must prove that Stangel was in the right state of mind at the time.
“Even though his conduct may seem bizarre, doesn’t mean that’s legal insanity. They may be trying to do that, but I think the defense has a tough road to hoe,” Pacarro said.
Pacarro says the defense has to bring evidence that Stangel lacked substantial capacity to know what he was doing. But without calling any legal experts on the stand, the defense can’t convince the jurors of that.
The defense can still make up a lot of ground during closing arguments and when the jury gets instructions before they deliberate, which happens Tuesday.