Crime Watch

Apr 14, 2014 11:41 AM by Victoria Fregoso - Q2 News

Jury reports verdict reached at Griego rape trial

UPDATE: 2:40 p.m.

The jury informed the bailiff at 2:31 p.m. that they had reached a verdict. The judge and attorneys are being called now.

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UPDATE 11:20 a.m.

Jury deliberations began shortly after 11 a.m.

In closing arguments, a public defender told jurors to "look at each individual element as they have been defined for you" in deciding the case.

During the prosecution's final closing argument, Senior Yellowstone County Attorney Juli Pierce said for some victims it was impossible to tell for sure how they were being assaulted.

"This is the picture of evil. He is your eyewitness. Hold him accountable for his reign of terror," Pierce said.

At 11:13 a.m., the jury entered the jury room for deliberation.

The three male alternates were dismissed.

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UPDATE: 11 a.m.

Greigo's public defender, Thomas Bartelson, began the closing argument for the defense at 10:45 a.m.

Bartelson told the jury the state failed to prove its case.

"We have weaknesses in the state's case," he said.

Bartelson said there are counts which can not be proven because there are no photos or videos of the specific incidents described by the victims.

He also told the jury that Griego is accused of stealing items from the victims homes but there is no proof or evidence that he took them.

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BILLINGS -Jury instructions were delivered this morning and closing arguments have begun in Yellowstone County District Court at the Toby Griego rape trial.

Chief Yellowstone County Attorney Rod Souza began closing arguments by saying:

"A stranger in your bedroom as you sleep. It's every women's worse nightmare. For (the victims) it was reality."

Each side has 70 minutes to give closing arguments.

Souza held up Griego's cell phone and delivered five "uncontroverted facts" about the phone.

1. He told them there is no doubt the phone belonged to Griego. Several witnesses gave testimony last week and confirmed it was his phone.

2. While Griego owned the phone, no one else used it, Souza told the jury.

3. "Images of all four victims being kidnapped, raped or stalked, are on his phone."

4. All of the photos of the rapes that took place are time stamped on the phone.

5. Audio from the videos was played back to the jury. Souza told the jury the person heard in the videos matches Griego's voice. Also, a freeze frame from a video proves it was Griego committing the crimes.

"He can sit here and he can shave and he can put on a little pair of glasses. But that's him," Souza said. "There is no question there is no doubt he committed all of these crimes."Souza reviewed the similarities of the four assault cases:

He said they were committed in the middle of the night or early morning when the victims were most vulnerable.

The suspect entered the homes undetected.

The victims were in their bedrooms and pictures or videos were taken of them.

The victims were forced to bathe and all four had their rooms gone through.

All four victims had their cell phones stolen.

The suspect wore gloves during the assaults.

The statements the suspect made to the victims during the assaults were similar.

The perpetrator had information about three of them showing they were stalked.

The suspect cleaned up the victims and took items of evidence with him.

Souza recapped evidence of Griego's shoe print at the scene of the May assault and the July victim recognizing Griego's voice from an audio recording.

Souza acknowledged the fact there was no DNA or finger prints at the scene.

"Of course, because he was so good at it," Souza said.

The defense has argued that because there was no DNA left at the scene, Griego isn't connected to the crimes.

"They want you to reward him because he has perfected his craft as a serial rapist," Souza said.

Souza said while Griego got rid of all evidence, the only mementos he kept were the photos on his phone so he could go back and review them.

Souza is now taking the time to review all 27 count and explain why Griego should be found guilty on all charges.

Souza explained to the jury that a trial is being held because it's Griego's right.

"You may be asking yourself what am I missing? Why are we here? There must be something else. No, there's not. It really is that simple. The evidence is absolutely overwhelming."

He finished by showing the jury a photo of the May victim crying in the shower, with blood streaming down her face.

"This photo sums it up. That is the face of pain, that is the face of terror."

Then Souza put up a photo of Griego.

"And this is the face of evil," he said. "Do your duty and hold him accountable for the pain he afflicted."

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