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After jurors turned in their verdict ...

www2.morganton.com [cached]

After jurors turned in their verdict Friday, defense attorney Gary Triggs petitioned the court to have the jurors polled.

In the absence of the jury and his client, Triggs made a motion to have the verdict dismissed and asked for a new trial.
Outside, Triggs discussed the possibility of an appeal with the Connelly family.
If an appeal were to be sought, Triggs said later, it could take up to a year for the case to reach court.
"It's an unfortunate situation here," Triggs said. "There are no winners."
Triggs said that he felt many of the prosecution's tactics throughout the trial had been out of line, including references to the defendant's drug use and Triggs' own record with the N.C Bar Association.
"I think the reporting that this was a drug deal was completely false," Triggs said. "They made it sound like this was a drug deal that had gone down there... that was a lie."
Triggs said he did not understand why the assistant district attorney had mentioned his previous record with the bar in court Wednesday, saying the issue had nothing to do with the trial at-hand.
Triggs went on to say he was appalled at the District Attorney's Office's management of the case.
"It's a travesty that this young man had to wait four years to stand trial for a crime he didn't commit," Triggs said, citing the district attorney's backlog of year-old crimes.
Nearly a week after the trial commenced, Triggs admitted he as still unsettled by the racial composition of the jury, an issue he brought up in court following jury selection Monday evening.
"There was not one minority there, not black, not Hispanic, not Asian. Not one," Triggs said Friday. "You have to admit that's unusual."
Triggs suggested that race may play a part in how a juror perceived Connelly, a black man, accused of killing Nichols, a white man.

Returning to Stikeleather's testimony, ...

www2.morganton.com [cached]

Returning to Stikeleather's testimony, defense attorney Gary Triggs asked the officer why he had not returned to the crime scene following Connelly's confession.

Stikeleather had after all, Triggs said, taken a photograph of a knife in the sink Connelly had described.
In the absence of the jury following Stikeleather's testimony, Triggs petitioned the court for a dismissal of the charges against his client.
Triggs argued that the state had provided no evidence showing premeditation, deliberation, malice aforethought or malice whatsoever.

In court Monday, potential jurors were ...

www2.morganton.com [cached]

In court Monday, potential jurors were questioned by Assistant District Attorney Frank Webster and defense attorney Gary Triggs.

In the absence of the potential jurors, defense attorney Triggs challenged the racial composition of the selection, as it appeared no minority was represented in the range of potential jurors seen at court.
"I think it's just odd," Triggs said. "After all, this man is entitled to jury by his peers."
Poovey told Triggs that there was nothing that could be done, explaining that a formal challenge would have had to been filed well before jury selection began.
"I've been here since July and I can say this not the first time I've seen something like this," Poovey told Triggs in court Monday.

In court Tuesday, defense attorney ...

bit.ly [cached]

In court Tuesday, defense attorney Gary Triggs urged Judge Nathaniel Poovey to dismiss the case due to a lack of a speedy trial, arguing that an undue four years had passed since the incident in question.

Threatening to stab the defendant with a steak knife, Triggs argued that Connelly defended himself by pulling his gun and shooting Nichols once in the abdomen.
"A death is a tragic thing," Triggs told the jury.
"We are contending the deceased was the aggressor," Triggs responded.
As cross-examination continued, Triggs eventually asked Stikeleather, "Were you honestly trying to find what happened or were you just trying to get information to convict him?"

In Connelly's defense, attorney ...

www2.morganton.com [cached]

In Connelly's defense, attorney Gary Triggs argued it was Nichols - not Connelly- who was dangerously unstable.

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