The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

July 23, 2013

Pollard guilty on murder, robbery charges

(Continued)

OTTUMWA —

At one point during the description of the struggle, Pollard's mother got up, wiping tears from her eyes, and left. She did not return to court the rest of the day.

Whether McDaniel sexually approached Pollard or not, Brown said, the severe and brutal injuries he endured constituted unreasonable force, not self defense.

Brown described Cook's allegations about McDaniel's intentions as "sickening."

Cook described Cinema X as "seedy" and "filthy" and McDaniel as finding a "window of opportunity" for one last "homoerotic encounter" before the theater could possibly be sold or closed.

That's all speculation, Brown said, and detailed the five elements of first-degree murder the state had to 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.

"We don't have to disprove Bruce Pollard's story," he said. "That's not part of the elements."

All physical evidence pointed to Pollard as McDaniel's killer, he said, as did his confession to police and to his girlfriend's mother, Dixie Day.

Pollard chose to bring the pry bar with him that night, Brown said, which is evidence of malice and specific intent.

"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.

Pollard wasn't justified in his actions, he said, due to a number of events from that night: he could have unlocked the front door, he could have simply threatened McDaniel or pushed him away and there is "no evidence" of any kind of sexual assault.

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