The jury deliberated for about two hours before finding Thomas Naumann guilty of first degree murder for his role in the death of David Masters (b.) who died after being injected with a lethal dose of cocaine.
Just before noon, Naumann was sworn in on the witness stand while the jurors were in recess, and it appeared that he was going to testify when court resumed.
When Price asked Naumann what he wanted to do he replied, " I want to testify."
"You understand that it was the advice of me as counsel in this case that there are certain very strong arguments I wish to put on in the closing arguments of this case, that I can't use if you testify?" Price asked.
Wiping tears from his face Naumann told his attorney, "Just go ahead and do your job," he said, "You're lawyers, so you know the best thing to do."
The defense called just two witnesses, first was DNA expert Ruth Montgomery. Montgomery told jurors that most of the items sent to her lab contained Crystal Broyles' (b.) DNA; and re-called detective Annette Ramsey.
Broyles invoked her fifth amendment right and refused to testify during the weeklong trial.
Recounting witnesses that the state called during the trial Dobbs told jurors, "are they fine upstanding citizens, no; were they drug users in 2005, yes.....we don't get to pick who are witnesses are."
During the defenses closing arguments lead attorney Dean Price told jurors that Naumann's statements to a Missouri Highway Patrol detective weren't reliable.
"Their entire case rests on a statement given by a junkie," Price told jurors.
Price argued in his closing statement that none of the state's eyewitnesses were reliable, and that Prosecuting Attorney, Ron Cleek had "purchased their testimony" and gave them leniency in criminal cases in Christian County.
Price was referring to the testimony of Christopher Hill (a.) and Brandi Storment (b.) Broyles' sister, who were at the house at 1457 N. Main while the torture of Masters was unfolding.
He also asked jurors to recall the testimony of Naumann's cell mate, David Craig (b.), who has an extensive criminal history as tainted because he, "traded it for a better deal"
"Masters, was the guy with all the coke, and all the money," he argued. "He was worth more to them alive than dead."
"I wish I had three angels, a nun and a priest to come in and testify...but I don't," Cleek said as he summed up the state’s case for jurors.
When the clerk read the guilty verdict Naumann threw his hands to his face and defense attorney Tim Cisar slumped on the defense table.
We are pleased with the verdict,” said Phillip Masters, son of David Masters. “It is well deserved. We are disappointed that Crystal Broyles will be out (of prison) in a couple of years. That was a failure.”
Cisar said that he wouldn't second guess the defense's strategy of not putting Naumann on the stand but " that he was surprised that the jury came back with a verdict in just two hours. He said that he will file a motion for a new trial, but that if it is granted, "I probably will not be the trial lawyer."
It was national juror appreciation week and after jurors were polled and had left the room a relieved Cleek said, “I am very pleased with the verdict,” adding, “I thought the jury did the right thing...my office worked hard to get this tried.”
Masters wife, Ginger, and three of their seven children were in court for the duration of the trial. A lot of the testimony was hard for them to hear because the man they loved was, "a great husband, father and excellent attorney who never raised a hand to any of us," Phillip Masters said; "He only used drugs in the last two years of his life."
Attorney Jeff Rosanswank attended law school with Masters and supported Masters family during the trial, “The person that’s been portrayed in these (news) stories is different,” he said as he remembered his friend. “If this could happen to David Masters it could happen to anybody.”
For Ginger Masters the trial and conviction of Naumann doesn't bring her peace."You can't ever put something like this behind you," she said. "Every single time I look at a sunset it’s ‘Oh, David.’ You can’t put that behind you."
Cecily Fliege and Rachel Masters said their dad always "taught them the importance of education and made everyone in the room feel comfortable." Phillip Masters said, "when I get a good grade in school, the first thing I want to do is call dad......then I remember I can't."
Fleige started weeping when she remembered her father's smile and the twinkle in his eye, "he found the good in everyone," she said.
Ginger Masters is an anti-death penalty advocate. She says that even though her husband was a prosecuting attorney, "he was a Buddhist who had issues with the death penalty.""I will be happy with a life without parole sentence," she said at the beginning of the trial.
Naumann is scheduled to be sentence on July 6th in Christian County......the only sentence available to the repeat offender on the first-degree murder conviction is life without the possibility of parole.
In 2006 during the second day of her first-degree murder trial Crystal Broyles accepted a plea offer of second-degree murder in exchange for a guilty verdict. She is serving 13 years in prison at Chillicothe Correctional Center for her part in Masters murder.