Judge declares mistrial in Brian Adkison case

2 years 11 months 5 days ago Thursday, January 08 2015 Jan 8, 2015 Thursday, January 08, 2015 8:14:00 PM CST January 08, 2015 in News
By: KOMU 8 Digital Staff

COLUMBIA - The trial against a Columbia man facing burglary, rape and deviate sexual assault charges in Boone County ended in a mistrial. Brian Adkison was found not guilty on count one for burglary. The jury decided at around 2:30 a.m. that they would not come to an agreement for the other two counts: rape and deviate sexual assault. Adkison is also accused of kidnapping and escape in Caldwell County as well as charges in four other Missouri counties.

The defense started cross-examining the victim Thursday morning. They went over forensics from when she went to the hospital and text messages from the person who she considers her best friend. She texted her best friend on May 4, 2013, after she was allegedly raped.

The text from the victim read in court said, "I actually think I'm going to have to take the morning off. My ex broke in this morning so I'm at the police station filing a report."

When the defense was questioning the alleged victim, some details of the victim's story she told in court, such as where Adkison is accused of holding her down, were different from what she told the detective. 

On Thursday afternoon, the prosecution called the nurse to the stand who examined the alleged victim. According to the nurse, the injuries that the alleged victim had were consistent with being held down. The prosecution went over what all of her injuries were and showed pictures of each one. 

When the defense questioned the nurse, they pointed out the nurse did not ask the victim if she had those injuries prior to the alleged assault. The nurse said the alleged victim did not have any internal injuries, but fewer than half of rape victims have internal injuries, so that did not surprise her.

Later Thursday afternoon, the prosecution interviewed Columbia Police Detective Mitch Baxley, playing video of Baxley interviewing Adkison when he was called to the police station for questioning. Baxley testified he gave the alleged victim the means to call Adkison and have the call recorded, but Adkison was not supposed to know that the call was recorded. Baxley said the alleged victim believed Adkison knew the call was recorded during the phone conversation, but whether he knew that it was or not has not been proven.

According to Baxley, what Adkison talked to the alleged victim about in the recorded phone call was not what he told the detective they talked about.

The prosecution asked Baxley about the demeanor of Adkison when the detective asked him about the bite marks on his arm and chest. The detective said Adkison became very nervous and tried to change the subject when the detective started talking about the bite marks.

Later Thursday, prosecutors called up a friend that was studying with the alleged victim before she went home on the day of the alleged rape. They then called to the stand the alleged victim's roommate who was not home at the time of the alleged rape. 

Thursday evening, Theresa Long was called to the stand. Long was a friend that the alleged victim was supposed to study with the morning after the alleged incident. The alleged victim sent messages to Long that mentioned Adkison came over but did not mention the attack. While on stand, Long said the alleged victim did eventually tell her about the incident.

The alleged victim's roommate Ben Stahlschmidt was also called to the stand. In his testimony Stahlschmidt said he had not seen Adkison at their home since January 2013. The prosecution compared Stahlschmidt's statement to Adkison's who said he had been at their home at least 20 times in the three weeks prior to the May 4, 2013 alleged incident. 

After prosecutors finished calling witnesses, defense attorneys did not call any witnesses, and Adkison did not take the stand in his own defense. Closing arguments began around 6:30 p.m. Thursday night. 

The Adkison trial began Wednesday after the court completed jury selection around 3 p.m. Shortly after that, the prosecution called its key witness, Adkison's ex-girlfriend to the stand. She said while the relationship between her and Adkison ended in February 2013, she communicated off and on with him in the months following. The defense team said she had access to weapons to defend herself from Adkison and chances to escape or call the police but she chose not to.

CLOSING ARGUMENTS

The prosecution's closing argument described the alleged victim as brave and smart. The prosecution went on to say that the case is not "he said she said" because the alleged victim's story has been "coroborated or confirmed by others" including the nurse, roommate and best friend.

The prosecution referred back to the physical evidence of the alleged victim's high blood pressure taken at the hospital which was 170/107 and the visible bruises on the alleged victim's arms and wrists. The prosecution described Adkison as a "man with an unhealthy obsession and craving for power and control". 

Statements made by Adkison before the trial were evaluated in the prosecution's closing argument as well. The presence of Adderall was called into question during the trial but the prosecution said there was no trace of the substance in the alleged victim's blood as Adkision had accused. 

"She did everything she could," the prosecutor said, refuting claims of consensual sex.

The defense's closing argument said the alleged victim was not forced or deceived into having sexual relations with Adkison. The defense also said the alleged victim "knew he [Adkison] was not good for her"  but continued communication with him after their July 2011 break up.

The defense refuted the prosecution's claim of the alleged victim's high blood pressure as evidence of the alleged incident occurring. 

"The facts don't match up" the defense said when evaluating the alleged victim's statements about having access to a weapon.

The defense said the victim did not reach for surrounding objects to use as weapons or run out of the house when given the opportunity. 

According to the defense there was no evidence of damage to the alleged door Adkison used to "forcibly enter" the home, except a loose handle. 

THE VERDICT

Around 2:30 a.m. Friday, the jury delivered a non-guilty verdict to burglary and was unable to reach a decision on the rape and sexual deviance charges.

Judge Christine Carpenter reiterated Thursday she expected the trial to wrap up sometime Thursday evening, but the jury deliberated for more than seven hours.

The two pending charges are considered a mistrial. 

Judge Carpenter said since they were unable to reach a decision on two of the charges, it shows they took their jobs seriously. Carpenter asked the jurors before dismissing them if time to sleep would have helped them to come to a decision and the jurors said it would not have made a difference. Court staff, the judge, attorneys and jury were in the courtroom for nearly 19 hours with only a few breaks.

Typically in a mistrial, the charges are still pending and the court could set a new trial date. 

Adkison is accused of other crimes outside of Boone County, but none of those offenses were brought up in this trial.

[Editor's note: This story has been updated continuously updated with the latest information available.]

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