The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 23, 2013

Closing arguments begin in Pollard trial

OTTUMWA — Closing arguments have begun in State v. Bruce Pollard.

Pollard, 26, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the death of Cinema X manager Kenneth McDaniel on March 11, 2012.

During closing arguments Tuesday morning, prosecutor Scott Brown said not only was it evident that Pollard killed McDaniel, but he did so by choice and in brutal fashion.

He explored the five elements of first-degree murder that the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt: that Pollard struck McDaniel; that McDaniel died as a result of being struck; that Pollard acted with malice aforethought; that Pollard acted willfully, deliberatively, premeditatively and with specific intent to kill (or that Pollard participated in a robbery); and that Pollard was not acting with justification.

Pollard admitted twice to killing McDaniel, Brown said. His blood was found on McDaniel's body, his shirt has McDaniel's blood on it, pornography found in his possession is consistent with that found at Cinema X and video shows Pollard entering and leaving the theater that night.

"There really is no dispute here," Brown said of McDaniel's cause of death. "[He] died as a result of being struck and strangled by Bruce Pollard."

Malice is evident, he said, because Pollard brought the pry bar with him to the theater and concealed it in his coat. And the confrontation was not spontaneous, he said, because Pollard was in the theater for 20 minutes.

"I'm not saying that he went there with the intention of killing [McDaniel], but he certainly had the intention to kill him once he was there and he did it and he stole the items he went there to steal," Brown said.

Brown also referred to Pollard's own words that he struck McDaniel first.

"It wasn't a couple blows and out the door he went," Brown said. "He meant business whenever he attacked Kenny McDaniel."

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