Jesse James Hollywood's six-week murder trial is winding down in the blink of an eye, when compared to the five years during which he was on the lam before being apprehended in Brazil. Hollywood was a 20-year-old West Hills marijuana dealer in 2000, when Nick Markowitz, the adolescent half brother of a dope debtor, was kidnapped and murdered in Santa Barbara -- allegedly at Hollywood's command. In the year that followed, four young men were arrested and sent to prison for the crime, while Hollywood remained free. The story was retold in the 2007 Nick Cassavetes film, Alpha Dog.
Today jurors in the Santa Barbara trial continued to hear closing arguments from prosecutor Joshua Lynn, who yesterday showed them photographs of Markowitz's duct-taped and decomposed corpse, as it appeared after it had been exhumed from a shallow grave. Panelists also listened to defense attorney Alex Kessel dismiss the autopsy slide show as courtroom theatrics.
"You can't fill the void in the prosecution's case with pictures of Nick Markowitz in the grave," the Associated Press quoted Kessel.
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For vivid coverage of the trial and out-of-court scenery, see Natasha Vargas-Cooper's blog on The Awl.