Day 3 of triple murder trial ends in Cape Girardeau Co.

Ryan Terrell Patterson (Source: Cape Girardeau PD)
Ryan Terrell Patterson (Source: Cape Girardeau PD)
Jamie and Derrick Orman
Jamie and Derrick Orman

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - Ryan Patterson's fate now rests in the hands of the jury.

Prosecutors and lawyers for the defense finished their closing arguments in the triple murder trial just after 3 p.m.

Judge William Syler reminds that Wednesday was actually day 6 and not day 3. As he says those days last week still count.

The jury has gone back to their hotel for the night and break for the evening as of 6 p.m. They have indicated to the judge they may have reached a decision on counts 1 and 2 out of 3 total counts. Judge Syler says no decision is set in stone, the jury could change their minds in the morning.

The judge has the decisions in a sealed envelope and no one, including him, is allowed to look at it.

Count one is for Jamie Orman. Count two is for her son Derrick. And, count three is for Jamie's 34-week-old unborn baby, Joey.

Jury will reconvene at 9 Thursday morning.

Morley Swingle, Prosecuting attorney told the jurors, "Patterson is a man with murder in his heart."

Patterson is the accused gunman in the 2009 triple murder of Jamie Orman, her unborn baby, and 15-year-old son, Derrick.

Prosecutors have called the case a murder plot gone wrong. They say Michelle Lawrence, who pleaded guilty to murder charges in June, plotted along with Patterson to kill her estranged husband John for insurance money. However, John wasn't home that Tuesday morning in October and the three others died instead. Samuel 'Ray Ray' Hughes also faces charges in connection with the murders. Hughes is accused of serving as the look out.

Prosecuting attorney, Morley Swingle told jurors in his argument Patterson plotted and planned the murder. "This murder was all about greed," said Swingle.

Swingle prepared a list of reasons for jurors he believes point to Patterson's guilt.

Among his list of reasons, he first pointed to statements between Michelle Lawrence and Ryan Patterson in the days before the killings. He says Patterson knew Lawrence would get money from insurance policies if something happened to John Lawrence.

Swingle also pointed to Michelle Lawrence's testimony Tuesday in which Swingle recalls Lawrence said she told Patterson he would get half of the insurance money should she come into it. Swingle says the pair knew there was limited time in which Lawrence would still get the money.

"They also discussed ways Patterson could get into the house on Missouri," said Swingle. "That's very significant."

Also listed, testimony from Lawrence saying she heard Patterson say he would 'pop a cap' in John. Swingle also pointed to pictures from Jackson Wal-Mart showing Lawrence buying bullets, she says, at Patterson's request.

"That's very chilling if you think about it," Swingle told the jury. "She bought bullets that were going to be used to kill somebody else."

Swingle suggests to the jury: "If this was just a burglary gone bad, why did Patterson walk in and start shooting," said Swingle. "This was not a burglary gone bad, this was an execution. He got in, did the shooting and got out."

Swingle also brought up a video of Patterson's being interrogated by police. Swingle says in that video Patterson suggested he thought there was a possibility Lawrence could be home.

Lawyers for Patterson say both Patterson and Lawrence knew John Lawrence was working the night-shift that evening in October. They suggest this crime could not have been a conspiracy against a man the alleged suspects actually knew was not at home.

"These were first degree murders done after deliberations," said Swingle.

Defense attorneys began their arguments by saying first, it was the state that told them it was the burglary gone bad. Robert Steele told the jury it was the state that put Samuel 'Ray Ray' Hughes on the stand, not the team of Ryan Patterson.

"What you've got is two stories," said Steele. "In respect to this conspiracy John told you his schedule was set in stone for a year," he said. "In addition to that there was a custody arrangement made between Michelle and John. How does he not know John is not there," argued Steele. "It's quite simple. Now if you want to get this money and kill John don't you wait until John's at home. Why would you wait until John is not there?"
Steele told jurors another key was that the children John and Michelle Lawrence shared were with her.
Steele also discussed testimony from Michelle Lawrence's father. Steele says Mr. Hayden changed his story that he saw Patterson with a gun after Michelle was arrested.
According to Steele, jurors could either take the word of Hughes, or the Orman children who were home at the time of the murder. Steele recalled testimony from Jacob and Travis Orman saying they heard their mother scream and came right down stairs.
Steele suggested the jury could either believe Hughes or the boys. Steele said Hughes testified he and Patterson had a short conversation after Hughes says he walked up on Patterson at the back door of the home on Missouri and saw Patterson with the gun in his hand. Steele says if you believe the Orman boys, there was not time for that conversation between Patterson and Hughes to take place.
In his rebuttal, Swingle called Steele's statements 'ridiculous.' Swingle said Patterson and Hughes did indeed have time to talk to each other before the boys made it down stairs. Swingle also told the jury Patterson thought the person he was shooting on that sofa bed in the basement was John Lawrence, not Derrick Orman.
Swingle said to the jury in regards to Patterson: "If you come back with anything less than a guilty verdict, you're letting him get away with murder."

Wednesday morning, Ryan Patterson's defense team of David Kenyon, and Robert Steele presented their case in less than an hour.  The state rested late Tuesday.

Wednesday morning jurors heard from DNA experts from the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime lab in Cape Girardeau.

The defense rested their case of 9:40 a.m. Wednesday.

The judge also gave Patterson another opportunity to testify, but he declined.

Patterson is the only suspect to enter a not guilty plea.  Michelle Lawrence and Samuel "Ray Ray" Hughes pleaded guilty in exchange for their testimony.

Closing arguments were set to begin about 1 p.m.

Family members of the victims say they are anxious for the trial to end.

Jamie Orman's sister, Stephanie Howard says the family is confident the right man is on trial.

"We want the death penalty," said Howard. "We want him gone."

Meanwhile a spokesperson for the Patterson family offered this statement:

"I along with the rest of the family feel and understand every bit of the pain and hurt and anger the Orman family has and wanting justice for them, as we also seek the same justice. We feel, after sitting in on everyday of the trial that Ryan needs free'd and the real murdered should be arrested, tried and convicted."

Family members say they believe Samuel 'Ray Ray' Hughes had more to do with the crime than he is currently accused of at this time.

Ryan Patterson's family believes he is innocent.  Hear more from them on Heartland News at 5 and 6.

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