On Monday, May 14th, prosecutor Matt Murphy will deliver this closing arguments. Should be a humdinger. I invite all to watch the culmination of the prosecution’s case and rebuttal of the defense’s argument that “FASD made me do it.”
After a two week hiatus, the court resumed trial on 05/08. In the previous summary I emailed for Tuesday, May 8th, I described the prosecutor’s continued, aggressive and unusual cross examination of Dr. Natalie Brown, a clinical forensic psychologist and a self described “expert” on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder – FASD. The Doctor concluded that Urdiales did have the disorder, as did her compadres, the three defense “expert” witnesses that immediately preceded her.
For two days in April, just before the two week hiatus, Matt examined Dr. Brown in the same manner as he did the others. Matt did his homework finding the shortfalls in all the “experts” testimony. Matt challenged her examination methodology, time spent interviewing Urdiales and conclusions, Matt pointed out many inconsistencies and errors and, well, just plain lazy work. Cut to it: none of the “experts” discovered or validated that Urdiales exhibited many important standard FASD behaviors and character traits from pre-school childhood to adult. In fact, Matt pointed out many, many instances wherein Urdiales exhibited normal behavior contrary to FASD guidelines. A large portion of the “experts” conclusions were not original, much of it was taken from journals, papers, books, findings, scholarly work that describe the generic FASD sufferer, not Urdiales specifically.
Wednesday and Thursday were 1/2 day sessions. The defense called still another clinical forensic psychologist who contributed nothing and then conducted a reading of testimony by people who knew Urdiales in his early days, young boy to teenager. None of this testimony was particularly relevant to the FASD argument: in fact, it was silly. a waste of the jury’s time. So stupid that Matt did not challenge. The judge admonished the defense for stalling the trial which was irritating the jury.
One interesting witness was an investigator in the public defender’s office. She interviewed the three Urdiales siblings in 2016: they testified separately early in the trial; a brother and two sisters, all years older than Urdiales. She said that the three described their mother’s drinking during pregnancy, but, strangely, could not recall ever seeing their mother pregnant. Also, the siblings described aggressive beatings by the father and mother. Now the weird part, all three siblings denied under oath in the witness stand that the mother ever drank when pregnant nor were the children beaten. Urdiales, the baby of the family, was never hit or abused, he was protected by the mother. Matt’s major cross examination question was if the investigators write up of the interviews is a declaration of fact – the mother drank and the children were beaten. She said no. The siblings were not under oath when the interviewers were taken.
This investigator is very efficient and professional and thorough, I believe her testimony. Something is going on in that family. Maybe the siblings did not want to publicly accuse Mom and Dad, they don’t want to share the dirty laundry, secrets, protect a dysfunctional family.