March Murder Case Goes To Jury
Perry March: Court Filings State of Tennessee vs. Perry March: Prosecution Filings State of Tennessee vs. 1:35 The jury returns to the courtroom and Judge Dozier begins instructing the jurors about their responsibilities. He informs them that the indictment against Perry March includes three separate counts: second degree murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Dozier tells jurors that on the first count, they can find March guilty of the lesser crime of voluntary manslaughter, reckless homicide or criminally negligent homicide. He also tells them that on the third charge, they can find March guilty on the lesser charge of facilitation of tampering with evidence. The judge explains in detail what is required for jurors to find March guilty on each of the crimes, and reminds them that the indictment against March is neither evidence or proof of guilt. March has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him. March has already been convicted in two other cases, but has not yet been sentence in either one. The charges in those previous cases were: Theft of more than $10,000 from the law firm of his former father in law, Lawrence Levine, and consipracy to murder both of his former in laws, Lawrence and Carolyn Levine. The Levines are Janet March parents. March faces 3 6 years in prison on the theft conviction and 15 25 years on the conspiracy conviction. Judge Steve Dozier, not a jury, will decide March sentence in those cases at a hearing scheduled for September 6th. The judge will also decide whether March serves the sentences consecutively, concurrently or a combination of both. If he convicted of second degree murder, Perry March would face 15 25 years in prison and would have to serve 85 percent of that sentence before being eligible for parole. On the charge of voluntary manslaughter, March would face 3 6 years. For reckless homicide, the sentence would be 2 4 years. For criminally negligent homicide, the sentence would be 1 2 years. On all three of those lesser charges, March would have to serve at least 30 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole. The separate charge of abuse of a corpse carries a sentence of 1 2 years and the last count of the indictment, tampering with evidence, would carry a 3 6 year sentence. March would have to serve 30 percent of those sentences before being eligible for parole. 12:45 Closing arguments are completed and Judge Steve Dozier recesses the court for lunch until approximately 1:30. When court resumes, Dozier will give the jury their instructions and deliberations will begin. 12:00 Tom Thurman starts the second portion of closing statements for the prosecution. Katy Miller used the first portion before the defense. Thurman said Perry March only cooperated until he thought the police might be able to pin the murder on him. Thurman said once Perry got nervous, March stopped cooperating with police. Thurman said Perry did not even pandora uk help search for Janet. Thurman asked the jury to consider why Arthur March would have driven three days to be with Perry only because Janet had run away. He said that Perry needed Arthur to come to help him cover his tracks. Thurman reminds the jury of Perry conversation with Sgt. Pat Postiglione. Thurman reminds the jury that Postiglione said Perry asked him about a plea deal. Thurman attempts to discredit William Massey closing arguments about the state case being full of circumstantial evidence. He then went to a projector to show “direct proof” that Janet March is dead, including how close she was with her children and family and Perry move to Chicago. Thurman then shows a video clip of Perry March talking about how March would not let police talk to his son Sammy. Thurman goes on to present a list of witnesses who he says corroborate the prosecution story that March killed his wife. The list includes jail inmates Russell Nathaniel Farris, Reno Martin and Cornelius King and Perry father, Arthur March. Thurman reviews for the jury, in detail, the testimony of the witnesses. Thurman next presents statements Perry March made in the past. Included among them: “She was beautiful,” which Perry said less than a month after Janet disappeared in 1996. Thurman also present pandora uk s other statements March made to various prosecution witnesses in which Thurman says March talks about murdering his wife. Statements from Arthur March are also among those presented to the jury, including Arthur claim that Perry asked him to dispose of Janet body and clean up an area where blood might be found. In closing, Tom Thurman tells jurors that this case is as much about Janet March as it is about Perry March, telling them that justice has been 10 years in the making and asking them to provide that justice by finding Perry March guilty. 11:45 Recess while Tom Thurman with the prosecution prepares for more closing statements from the prosecution. 10:00 After a 10 minute break, the defense began their closing arguments. With no notes in his hand, William Massey approached the jury. With his hands folded in front of him he started his closing argument. “A missing person case is not a homicide,” said defense attorney William Massey. He told the jury that the jury should be able to look at a case and say guilty without having to put together the pieces. He said the government wants them to make a guess that Perry is guilty when they can even prove that Janet is dead. Massey recapped the March relatio pandora uk nship as well. He also talked about how the Levines initially supported the couple. But he brought up the question, “Why would Perry have seen a marriage counselor, Dr. Campbell, if he planned to kill Janet?” He pointed out that Perry stayed at the hotel at least four nights to follow the instructions of the doctor. Massey said that Perry got the apartment to cut down on hotel bills. Pacing back in forth in front of the jury, Massey told them that marital discord was not unusual and he reminded the jury that Samson March said on the night his mother disappeared, he waved to her. He told the jury that it is not unusual for a husband to call his wife friends and family if she ran away. Massey said the state wants the jury to see his calls as suspicious actions and that is a ridiculous assumption. He pointed out that Carolyn said Perry always called her, sometimes too much, so it would not have been strange for him to call her. Massey told the jury that Perry, Carolyn and Lawrence Levine all decided not to call the police to avoid embarrassing Janet. He said now, 10 years later, the Levines want to say Perry told them not to call the police. The prosecution painted the picture that something wasn right about Janet bag. One of the things they said was that Janet did not have a toothbrush in her bag, but William Massey asked the jury members how many of them had ever forgotten to pack a tooth brush on a trip before. Massey said that the Levines were reaching for certainty, and the fact that she may have just run away is not certain enough for them. He said they are hurt, and in their hurt they are pointing fingers at Perry. Massey reminded the jury that Perry cooperated with the police all through the investigation. Massey said Perry did not even require a warrant to search Perry car, Janet car, or the house. Eventually, Perry March visits his father in Mexico and decides he wants to live there. Massey said if Perry started acting like a suspect, it was because they were treating him like a suspect, and he became offended. Massey said, “It as natural as rain in spring.” Massey said that the most emotional piece of evidence that the state has are the taped conversations between March and Farris in jail. But Massey said Russell Farris first pushed March into it. But, he also said that March was a victim who has had everything stripped from him. He said that his discussions about killing the Levines had nothing to do with the murder of Janet. Furthermore, he explained that Perry delayed the killings of the Levines, and told Russell Farris only to do that when he gave them the green light. Massey then took time to discuss the “inmates song.” He said the inmates in the jail looked at any opportunity they could to reduce their sentences by testifying against March. 8:55 The judge and the lawyers went over how they would instruct the jury. Not long after that, closing arguments began. Katy Miller began statements for the prosecution. She recalled for the jury the testimony of the first witness, Carolyn Levine. She reminded the jury how Janet and Perry met in 1983, and how they married in 1987. At first everything was great. She talked about how the Levines supported Perry and Janet March through school, how Janet designed a dream home for them to live in, and how they saw their grandchildren very often. In 1996 Janet and Perry were having marital trouble. They were having heated arguments, and professionals advised that they separate. Perry was spending several nights at a hotel. The night Janet disappeared, Miller recalled that Perry immediately called his father, his brother, the Levines, and one of Janet friends. She questioned why a husband would immediately start calling people to tell them his wife was missing after an argument. Miller also reminded the jury that the day after Janet disappeared, on August 16, she had an appointment to see a divorce lawyer, but never made it there. The prosecution painted the picture to the jury of a loving mother who would never just leave her family without any word. She asked the jury to think about why the computer hard drive was ripped out of the computer. She told them Perry may have ripped the hard drive out to conceal the fact that Janet did not write the 12 day vactation note. She told the jury to consider how Perry actions days after Janet was missing was not consistent with how a loving husband would act. Miller also talked about Sammy taped interview. She reminded pandora uk the jury to consider the pictures of Janet home and how it would be nearly impossible to see his mother wave to him from his bedroom window.