The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 15, 2013

Cinema X murder trial to begin Tuesday

(Continued)

Clark previously said autopsy results show McDaniel was killed by "blunt force injuries to the head and neck [combined with possible] strangulation."

Law enforcement also reviewed footage from the downtown video cameras of East Main Street outside the theater. The defense stated that a person, later identified as Pollard, entered and exited the theater during the time when the murder was said to have occurred.

While Pollard was also charged in the Sonic restaurant armed robbery on March 12, 2012, Gamon ruled that the exact nature of that investigation won't be specified during the murder trial, nor will his related criminal charges (going armed with intent and first-degree robbery).

Defense attorneys cited a previous court case, State v. Sullivan, to support their argument: "...a defendant must be tried for what he did, not for who he is."

"The fear that the jury will merely think [Pollard] was on some big crime spree at the time of the alleged murder in this case is all too real if the jury hears about [Pollard's] alleged involvement in the Sonic robbery," defense attorneys wrote.

Prosecutors emphasized that evidence from the Sonic robbery will only be used "to show how police developed Pollard as a suspect in the McDaniel homicide. Without this evidence, the jury will be left to wonder why the police began investigating him and may assume something even more prejudicial than the robbery charge.

"...excluding this evidence will increase the likelihood of jury confusion and speculation."

Pollard has also been charged with going armed with intent and two counts of first-degree robbery in the armed robbery of the Jefferson Street BP convenience store two days after McDaniel's murder.

He has remained in Wapello County Jail since his arrest and was on suicide watch following an incident where he jumped from the second-tier catwalk in front of his jail cell.

 

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