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Defense Rests Case in Retrial of Von Bulow

Associated Press

The defense rested Tuesday in Claus von Bulow’s retrial, relying solely on the complex testimony of doctors who attacked the state’s theory that he twice tried to kill his wife with insulin injections.

When court adjourned, the defense and prosecution were trying to work out an agreement to have the prosecution’s sole rebuttal witness provide a statement, rather than appearing in court.

Superior Court Judge Corinne P. Grande said when that matter is resolved, she will hear defense arguments that the first count of attempted murder be dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Closing Arguments Thursday

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She said she expected closing arguments Thursday and would then charge the jury, possibly later that day.

Earlier, she had sharply abbreviated the state’s rebuttal by blocking all but one of the 14 witnesses prosecutors wanted to call.

The judge also blasted the state when, in refusing to allow testimony of a family banker, she said: “There is not a suggestion anywhere at all that financial gain impelled the defendant to take the actions the state says he took.”

Assistant Atty. Gen. Henry Gemma told Grande the state’s rebuttal would focus on the defense argument that Martha (Sunny) von Bulow was suicidal and had a problem with alcohol and other drugs, including aspirin.

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Judge Backs Defense

Defense attorney Thomas P. Puccio argued--and Grande agreed--that the state was after “a second bite of the apple” by trying to call witnesses to go over aspects of the case already dealt with “ad nauseam” during the retrial, in its ninth week.

Following Grande’s rulings, only a doctor was to be allowed to testify. The prosecution called him to counter defense testimony that Martha von Bulow’s red blood cells were enlarged due to excessive drinking.


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