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Crooks Trial in Hands of the Jury

Posted at: 05/07/2013 10:12 PM
Updated at: 05/07/2013 10:20 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- It's now up to a 7-woman, 5-man jury to decide the fate of Noah Crooks.

On Tuesday afternoon, the jury received the case of the Osage, Iowa, boy accused of shooting his mother more than 20 times when he was just 13-years-old.

The prosecution and the defense agree on one thing, Noah Crooks shot his mother to death on March 24th of last year.

But they part company when it comes to the factors that led up to that night.

Day four of proceedings featured closing arguments from both sides, which focused primarily on Noah’s mental state at the time of the shooting.

The prosecution argued the incident was a clear-cut case of pre-meditated murder, with Noah taking the time to load his gun, then waiting for the right moment to shoot.

“He came down the stairs. He decided not to shoot her, went back up the stairs and came back down again,” said prosecutor Denise Timmins. “She was the target."

In the defense’s closing statement, attorney William Kutmus cited testimony from child psychiatrist Dr. Donner Dewdney, who met with Noah Crooks four times after the shooting.

Dr. Dewdney concluded that Crooks suffers from a mood-disorder called "intermittent explosive disorder,” which is characterized by sudden, violent outbursts, during which he is incapable of understanding the true nature of his actions.

“The child psychiatrist, the expert in this case, stated at the time of the shooting itself, Noah Crooks could not appreciate the nature and consequences of his act,” Kutmus said. “Nor could he distinguish right from wrong at that time."

Both sides relied on testimony from medical experts as well as Noah’s dramatic 911 call as evidence for their arguments, putting the simple question before the jury: Did Noah Crooks know what he was doing at the time of shooting?

“Common sense alone would tell you that this is a very sick boy,” Kutmus said. “There's no question about it."

“You can say he has IED. You can say he's got conduct disorder. You can say you think that's just the way he is. It doesn't matter,” Timmins said. “Because what you have to do is look at the facts of that day to make your decision in this case."

Jury deliberations begin Wednesday morning and ABC 6 news will be there to bring you the verdict as soon as it's reached.