Defense Attorney Mynarich Discusses Stepmom Murder Trial: Defense Struggles to Find Value in Testimony as Prosecution Builds Case for Premeditation

Video Transcript

Michael Ayala:

Hello. Welcome back to Court TV Live. I’m Michael Ayala. Testimony continues in the Stepmom murder trial. But before we get you back to court, I do want to bring in my guests: criminal defense attorney Erica Mynarich is with me, and criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, Matthew Mangino, is here with me as well.  And Matthew, I’ll start with you. I have to ask, are you finding that there could be any value at all in what we’ve been listening to over the last day and a half for the defense? There’s something there that they can use.

Matthew Mangino:

Well, Michael, I’ve been sitting here listening to this and wondering that very same thing, and really, I don’t see anything that the defense could make out of this. I mean, these jurors are sitting there and they’re listening to the father of Gannon basically plead with her for just a little bit of information–a snippet of information–that might be helpful in finding his son. And every time he gets to a significant question, she’s evasive, and just–you know–tries to twist the story like she’s having an argument over how much money he spent last night when they went out to dinner. I mean, it’s really sad.  And I’m sure that these jurors are sitting there and they’re empathetic, listening to this father plead for information for literally hours. And listen to this woman just scheme and connive and twist and turn. I don’t see anything that would be helpful to an insanity defense by what we’re hearing from Leticia.

Michael Ayala:

I would have to agree. It’s very dire if I’m the defense attorney in this one. Quickly, Erica, certainly it doesn’t seem like there’s anything helpful to the defense. If you can add anything to that, please do. But I do want to ask you, does it help the prosecution with premeditation? All of this evasiveness, all of these lies. We know it shows to consciousness of guilt, but what about the premeditation, the first degree murder aspect of the case?

Erica Mynarich:

Well, I think because they have to show whether she could differentiate between right and wrong.  I mean, that’s what we need to show for whether or not you can prove the insanity. And so I do think that these things, these subsequent things, do show her frame of mind at the time of the murder because these things started very shortly thereafter. I mean, I suppose you can be insane at that moment and then quickly, you know, become sane again, but that seems highly unlikely. So I think they’ll show her intent at the time.

Michael Ayala:

Yeah, I agree. And I just think the nature of the acts, as well, would show that premeditation, because there were so many: there was the stabbings, the blunt force trauma, and the gun. At some point along the line she had to form that intent. All right, stand by guys. But actually, I’m going to let you guys go. We have a lot more to go in court today. So thank you, Erica; thank you, Matthew, so much, for being with us tonight. Always appreciate your insights. Right now, though, I want to get you guys back into court for more of the Stepmom murder trial.

Erica primarily represents people charged with crimes in federal court and in Missouri state courts. Erica has extensive training in trial advocacy, including the three-week Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming and the Trial Lawyers College’s graduate program.

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