LEWISTON – Closing statements in the trial against Douglas Tibbitts occurred Wednesday morning and the jury is deliberating the verdict at this time.
Deputy Nez Perce County Prosecutor Joey Parker stated in her closing statement Aaron Brewer never had a chance. She explained to the jury no one is arguing that the shooting happened on January 30, or that it was in Nez Perce County. She gave the jury definitions of Aggravated Battery and showed videos of Tibbitts interviews the night of the incident, in an attempt to prove Tibbitts shot Brewer while on his back, on the floor, defenseless.
“This is a case about a man that brought a gun to a verbal argument,” Parker said. “He aimed that pistol at Aaron and he fired… Watching his cousin bleed out on the dirty kitchen floor and said he deserved it and he should have killed him.”
Defense Attorney Lawrence Moran used his closing statement to explain the evidence shows there was a tussle in the house the night of the shooting. He told the jury Tibbitts was terrified, scared, and more. Moran used the testimonies from everyone throughout the trial to show Brewer had a reputation for being a bully and that the ideas the state presented were ‘nonsense’. He presented inconsistencies in the story and asked the jury to ‘simply look at the evidence’. Moran questioned if Brewer was on his back when he was shot, why was there not a bullet hole in the floor?
“Aaron had a chance to tell you a truthful version of this testimony, and he didn’t,” Moran said. “It is crystal clear to you that this is a self-defense case… The burden is on the prosecution to prove that the battery is not justifiable. If the prosecution does not prove this, you must find him not guilty. If you have doubts, you have to vote not guilty.”
In her rebuttal, Parker explained that the five elements of self-defense were not met in this case. She stated that Tibbitts did not believe he was in imminent danger, that it was not necessary, or reasonable. She told the jury the evidence has shown Tibbitts was not reacting at that moment, it was an argument from two weeks ago. Parker also stated that Tibbitts chose to go back to his trailer, to Brewer, and to the argument.
“Shooting someone because of a verbal argument is not self-defense, that is excessive,” Parker said. “Holding someone at gunpoint unlawfully and shooting them when they try to defend themselves is not self-defense, that is aggressive battery.”
Daily Fly will update as the jury comes to a decision.