COQUILLE — The murder trial of Andrew Wade Davenport got underway on Tuesday with opening statements comprising the majority of the action.
After a laborious three hours of jury selection that ran through lunch, both the defense and prosecution delivered their arguments on what happened during the Aug. 25 death of Randy Harless.
The biggest discrepancy between the two opening statements was the differences in whether or not the alleged confessions made by Davenport, 46, after the incident should be viewed as credible.
Prosecutor Sarah Lundstedt's opening statement revolved around explaining the narrative of the alleged attack.
The day of the incident, Harless was watching television with his parents. He went outside and was attacked by someone and sustained multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma that eventually led to his death.
A neighbor, Jesse Spinella, went to his window after he heard a tapping sound and saw Harless on the ground with someone over him and beating him.
"The defendant hit him, the defendant stabbed him, the defendant killed him," Lundstedt proclaimed.
The state argued that the defendant — who knew the victim for the past 20 years — then fled to the brushes at Empire Lake, got a ride from one of his friends to Pony Village and dropped off his clothes in a nearby Mexican restaurant's dumpster.
The state also argued that Davenport confessed to several people, personally asking for alibis from them.
The defense kept it simple, reinforcing the belief there is reasonable doubt in the case and that the confessions Davenport allegedly made are coming from non-credible sources.
Defense attorney Donald Scales explained that the most credible witness — most of the others were described as "dubious characters by him — will be Davenport's daughter Emily. After persistently trying to coax a confession from her father, Davenport never said yes, just eventually nodded in agreement to his daughter.
Scales then explained that the scrapes that were present on Davenport's arms are consistent with the defendant's alibi of picking mushrooms that day and said no DNA of Davenport's was found inside the victim's fingernails after the incident.
He also went on to mention it took "18 to 19 days" for the state to identify Davenport as the primary suspect and charge him with murder.
Scales implored the jury to take into account not just the information given to them, but the information they won't get from the state.
"Consider what's not there," Scales said.
The trial will continue through the week with a verdict expected on next Tuesday.