Attorney General Vic Braden began the closing arguments. Braden stated that Jodi spent her final 5 hours afraid and unsure of her fate. She had tried to call for help about 4 p.m. that day but the call went unanswered. Braden stated she then was led down a “trail of death” by Justin Thurber.
Braden reiterated that he has the responsibility to prove guilt in the case. He then went over the jury instructions one by one. He mentioned the cell phone records for Jodi and Thurber tracked the whereabouts on January 5, 2007 confirming eye witness testimony. The shoe prints proved Jodi was at the scene with Thurber. Braden then states the evidence is as “good as you can get.”
Braden then turned to the physical evidence. He stated the autopsy showed a “repositioning” of the strangulation. He reminded the jurors that Thurber had told his ex-girlfriend the area would be a good place to get rid of a body and that the river would wash away the evidence. Braden pointed out to the jury this knowledge in concealing and destroying evidence.
Braden reminded the jury that when Thurber was picked up by his father he was calm and collected indicating no remorse for what had just happened. Vic Braden states, “The defendant killed Jodi Sanderholm” while pointing to Thurber. Braden then places a picture taken of Jodi during the autopsy and asks the jury “was that on purpose?”
Braden reminded the jury of computer evidence (searches for ‘Cowley Community College’ and ‘Tigerettes’ and states that is proves the action was intentional and pre-meditated. He further states that Thurber had no injuries therefore; there is no evidence that Jodi provoked or threatened him. Braden goes on to state, “the young woman was man-handled by the defendant…and it took time to kill her.” Braden continues, “After he was done strangling her, he gave her one last smack that snapped her head back (lacerating an artery).”
Braden reminded the jury of the letter Thurber wrote to a friend six months after Jodi’s murder. The letter stated “thank you for your help and when I get out I’ll take everyone to Hawaii.” Braden reiterated, “he thought it over before he killed her.”
The prosecution took 35 minutes to present it’s closing argument. Each side was allowed up to one hour.
The defense chose not to present a closing argument.