Wednesday, August 14th:
The State of Oklahoma prosecutors rested their case against Nathan LeForce on Wednesday afternoon at around 3:30 p.m. The state’s final witnesses included the paramedic that is attached to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Tactical team and two OSBI agents. The property owner where LeForce was captured also testified to the property and the building that the tactical squad found the defendant in.
The defense seemed particularly interested in the reports of the two tactical members that indicated in their action reports that LeForce seemed to be under the influence of narcotics.
The afternoon session saw the final pieces of evidence shown by the state including David Wade’s bullet proof vest that he wore that fateful day in April.
The defense takes center stage today at 9 a.m.
The trial is not in session tomorrow because of prior court obligations by Judge Corley. The News Leader will be in court today and update the proceedings later today.
Tuesday, August 13th:
The Tuesday afternoon session in the Nathan LeForce trial was all about the medical help given to David Wade at the time of the shooting.
A former Guthrie paramedic and the air evac ambulance nurse along with Guthrie Fire Department Medical Director Dr. Bill Worden all discussed the nature of the injuries and why it took an unusual amount of time to remove Wade from the scene.
The medical examiner was also called and graphic photos from the autopsy were introduced into evidence and shown to the jury. In that testimony every bullet wound was discussed and identified as well as which gunshot was the fatal shot.
The defense team questions surrounded the care given to Wade, and the time it took to get him to the trauma unit. The medical people all testified as to the loss of blood and that the gunshot to the face damaged the airway so badly that getting an airway established had to be done before they could transport to OU Trauma Center.
Wade passed away at 11:51 that morning in the operating room at OU less than three hours after the shooting.
The prosecution finished the day out with a member of the tactical team from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office. The testimony surrounded the capture of LeForce and how they got him to surrender. The defense got it on the record that the report indicated that LeForce was on drugs at the time of the arrest. The tact team turned LeForce over to Logan County Sheriff’s personnel. The prosecution also got in that when he surrendered, he followed all commands and was not acting different. The defense then asked how many guns were pointed at him.
In other court proceedings behind the scenes, John Lute, the witness who was arrested Monday morning on a warrant out of Payne County is again a free man. Judge Corley recalled the bench warrant and the state will file dismissal paperwork on the application to revoke a suspended sentence later.
Monday, August 12th:
The Nathan Leforce murder trial was full steam ahead on Monday with opening statements and five witnesses closing out the day.
The morning started with Judge Phillip Corley giving opening instructions to the jury. Assistant District Attorney Kevin Etherington then read the formal charges and outlined the prosecution’s case to the jury in a 33 minute opening statement. Gretchen Mosley then gave the defense statement and at the end of the 30-minute presentation attempted to introduce a charge of second degree murder to the jury. With the jury out of the room, the discussion was held and LeForce was asked by Judge Corley if he was ok with the request. LeForce said he was. The second degree murder charge would have to be included in the jury instructions as an alternative if Judge Corley so decides to allow it.
The first witness of the trial was the property owner were the shooting took place and were David Wade was sent to assist with the eviction of John Lute and his family. Judy Antel described the events of the morning in question and what she witnessed.
John Lute was then called and he testifies about the events leading up to the shooting and indicates the first time he met LeForce was the day before the shooting when LeForce was there to pick up a truck and then ended up allegedly waiting for a ride that never came. Lute described how LeForce helped him pack the truck but how they also used methamphetamines on several occasions on the days and hours leading up to the shooting. Lute was not very detailed on some answers and a lot of “I do not remember” on some of the events. The defense then introduced the surprise of the morning when they asked Lute about his warrant on a revocation of a suspended sentence out of Payne County and why he was not in custody. Once questioning was finished and the jury was dismissed for lunch, Lute was taken into custody and escorted to the jail.
The afternoon session started with Christine Lute on the stand and in approximately 40 minutes on the stand testified to the various events leading up to the shooting. Lute also admitted to having used meth, but not for a couple of days and knew LeForce was high on the morning in question.
Logan County Lieutenant Paul Martin was next and he described his involvement in the chain of events in the shooting and identified Wade’s body camera that was admitted into evidence. Martin was the first officer on the scene and the descriptions of what he saw were very graphic. The defense then asked Martin if he had any prior contact with LeForce prior to that day and Martin replied no.
Logan County Undersheriff Troy Dykes wrapped up the day of testimony with introduction of the GPS tracking program that was used to find LeForce that afternoon. The defense objected and arguments were heard, and the jury was allowed to see the GPS program on Wade’s truck from the time it left Mulhall to Smitty’s in Langston where he abandoned the truck.
The court was in recess for about 45 minutes as the video from the body camera was argued as to how it was going to be shown. In the end, Judge Corley told the defense lawyers that unless they brought case law to him Tuesday morning the video and being slowed down was in.
The jury was dismissed early but was also told the video was being introduced and shown Tuesday morning. Arguments were scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning outside the presence of the jury.