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The Trial

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The Trial

Case #: 24-6-33

Location: County Courthouse: Court Room 6

Judge (J): Hon. Milton Crater

Plaintiff: The People

v.

Defendant: Jonathan Ludarac

Prosecuting Counsel: Lucille James

Defense Counsel: Stephen Harker

Bailiff (B): Dep. Richard Martin

J: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. The jury has, of course, been sequestered due to the media circus happening outside these walls. I would like to remind everyone that I have not allowed the media into the courtroom until the verdict is read to avoid blowing this thing any further out of proportion than it already has been. Remember that this is a court of law and should be treated with due respect, and I expect that respect to be presented both inside and outside this room. Have the appearances of counsel been made of record?

B: Yes, Your Honor.

J: Good. Let's get this show on the road, Ms. James.

[OPENING STATEMENTS]

[PROSECUTION]

James: Jonathan Ludarac is a killer. When Dallas Gaines, Jack Sitersin, Cullen Krast and Vincent Bates were not convicted of the vicious rape and murder of his daughter, Lucy, Jonathan got his own revenge. He crept into Dallas Gaines's home at night, held his head back and slit Gaines's throat. A week later, Jack Sitersin was found dead, but killing Sitersin wasn't enough for this man. He had to recreate what he was convinced Jack had done to his daughter. Over the following weeks, Cullen Krast and Vincent Bates were wiped off the face of the Earth. Ladies and gentlemen, these aren't coincidences. These are the actions of a depraved, manic, psychopathic father on a vendetta. Jonathan Ludarac didn't agree with twelve people who were sitting in chairs, just like you are, so he obtained what he considered justice. He committed the same crime that he thought these four men had committed. On top of that, he took his frustration out on his children. Sixteen-year-old Kayla and little six-year-old Cooper had to live under a roof with that monster, and as you will see in this court room, they paid dearly for it. This man belongs behind bars. Maybe the men he killed did too, but that's not what these proceedings are about. Jonathan Ludarac killed four men, and abused two children, as well as his own wife. In fact, his wife suffered mental damage to such an extent that she had to be incarcerated in a mental institution. That is how badly this man treated her. Now, I will warn you that some of the evidence in this case is [PAUSE] gruesome, to say the least. The evidence is strange, so much so that, in some instances, it is inexplicable to forensic scientists. You will notice factual gaps in this case, but those gaps are not proof of Mr. Ludarac's innocence. Instead, they are only proof that Jonathan Ludarac is exceedingly clever, conniving and lacks any remorse for his crimes. Make him pay the price for what he has done.

[DEFENSE]

Harker: That was all very dramatic, a compelling story to be sure. It is also just that- a story. The prosecution will present you with an intricate web of deception and revenge. They will then attempt to use that web to blind you to the fact that they have no evidence, just a story. Your duty on this jury is to be the decider of fact, not theory and not the plausibility of speculation. The prosecution is going to ask you to believe certain aspects of this case that border on the supernatural. You are not ghost hunters, ladies and gentlemen. You are a jury, so facts and only facts must be the basis for your verdict. My client, Mr. Jonathan Ludarac, is a devoted father who went through a tragedy, a tragedy for which justice was never served. It is this lack of justice that is the hinge on which the prosecution's revenge theory swings. What the prosecution will neglect to mention is the fact that Mr. Ludarac's entire life demonstrates nothing but respect for the legal system. My client respects our justice. He recognizes that the guilt of the four men in question is, to this day, still undetermined. He may not like that, but he accepts it, like any good citizen should. The prosecution will ask you to believe, without any proof, that Mr. Ludarac acted out of pure revenge-fueled hate, but their case is full of flaws, logical gaps, unproven theories and assumptions. Regardless of whether or not Mr. Ludarac thought they were guilty, he knows that twelve impartial citizens, such as yourselves, were unable to reach a verdict, and he knows now, and has always known, that he must accept that fact. The prosecution has only circumstantial evidence and unproven theories against my client, because he didn't commit these crimes. He didn't do any of them. Ladies and gentlemen, if you convict my client, you'll only be perpetuating the injustice that has followed him since the day his daughter died. Thank you.

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