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Drier and a little cooler air is working into our area from the northeast this evening with no rain expected in our forecast into the end of the week. Lows at night will likely fall into the upper 50's in most areas by Wednesday morning.
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Jury finds Joe David not guilty
JASPER - by Mike Lout/KJAS and Rayburn Broadcasting Company
A Jasper County Jury has found Joe Nathan David not guilty of the murder of Curtis Hubbard. The jury's verdict came about 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening.
Twenty-nine year old David was accused of the murder of Jasper Barber Curtis Hubbard, whose body was discovered in his bullet riddled vehicle in early morning hours of April 3, 2011 on Farm to Market Road 3414, in the Westlake Community west of Jasper.
The case and the decision on guilt or innocence was handed to the jury of eight women and four men shortly before 3:00 p.m. following roughly four days of testimony that began on Monday and closing remarks that lasted well over an hour and were filled with numerous objections from both sides of the room.
In his closing remarks, District Attorney Steve Hollis argued the finer points of the case, and frequently reminded jurors of previous testimony from witnesses who were called forward to testify. However, it was the video of David, in which he recounted to Sheriff Mitchel Newman his version of the events that night, which dominated the prosecutors case to the jury.
In that video, which followed his arrest, David said that an apparently drug crazed Hubbard broke into his house and demanded drugs. David also contended that Hubbard refused to leave, and he thought that Hubbard was going to shoot him, so he fired shots at Hubbards vehicle.
Meanwhile, the defense attorney Michael Stewart Ratcliff argued points of the Castle Doctrine, which allows people to defend themselves, and their property, as the reason that David had a right to fire shots at, or near Curtis Shaun Hubbard.
Ratcliff also pointed out testimony earlier in the day when local glass shop owner Sammy Stewart testified that at least one shot fired at Hubbards SUV entered a side window from the front, and exited through the back window, causing it to shatter outwards. The basis of Ratcliffs argument on that point was to convince jurors that someone else, besides his client, was shooting at Hubbard that night.
Ratcliff also noted that the shattered back glass from the SUV was found near his crashed vehicle on Farm to Market Road 3414, and not at Joe Nathan Davids residence.
Ratcliff also showed the jury once again video tape from a security camera at the Ray Lewis residence, which is at the corner of FM 2800 at FM 3414. The video actually captured Hubbards SUV passing by twice, after the incident at Joe Nathan Davids house.
Ratcliff argued that someone in a white car was following Hubbard.
However, Hollis argued that the distance and time between the vehicles was too far apart for them to be intentionally following.
When the verdict was handed down, David showed no emotion as he stood beside his attorney, but later shook hands with all of the jurors before leaving the courtroom.
Prior to the trial, David had been held at the Jasper County Jail for almost two years.