Prosecution and defense lawyers in the David Attias murder trial met informally and briefly on Thursday morning to discuss the deliberation instructions jurors will receive following the lawyers’ closing arguments.
At the meeting, California Superior Court Judge Thomas Adams denied a motion by the defense to dismiss the stipulation of “implied malice” against Attias. The defense argued that the prosecution did not present enough evidence to prove Attias knew that he could hurt anyone when he sped down Sabado Tarde Road at speeds as high as 60 mph on Feb. 23, 2001.
Adams ruled that the prosecution had presented sufficient evidence to keep the implied malice stipulation on the four second-degree murder charges against the defendant. If Adams had upheld the motion, the jury would not have been allowed to consider whether or not Attias knew he could kill people when considering a guilt verdict.
The attorneys agreed that jurors should be allowed a television set and VCR inside the deliberation room in case they want to review the IVTV footage of the Sabado Tarde Road crash scene.
Attias is charged with nine felonies, including manslaughter with gross negligence while driving under the influence of marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana resulting in great bodily injury. Attias, who was a freshman at UCSB last year, was arrested after his Saab hit and killed Nicholas Bourdakis, Christopher Divis, Elie Israel and Ruth Levy. Levy’s brother, Albert, was seriously injured but has since almost fully recovered.
Closing arguments for the guilt phase of the trial, which is in its fifth week, begin Monday at 8:30 a.m. at the Santa Barbara County Superior Courthouse.