An Oregon woman was found guilty Monday afternoon of first degree murder in the killing of her husband Chris November of last year.
An Oregon woman was found guilty Monday afternoon of first degree murder in the killing of her husband Chris November of last year. The trial, which began Nov. 19, featured testimony from witnesses stating that MacCallum had wanted her husband dead and ultimately carried through with the act by shooting him multiple times while he lay in a tent sleeping at an Applegate campground near the Oregon border. Jurors one through 12, polled at the reading, each declared that the guilty verdict they delivered was their “true and final verdict.” The charges included first degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon and inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, with enhancements on the charges that could bring a sentence of 50 years to life for MacCallum, depending on the outcome of the sentencing hearing scheduled for Feb. 20 at 8:30 a.m. “I know this was not an easy case,” Judge Karen Dixon told the jury before closing the hearing Monday afternoon, thanking the 12-member panel which deliberated for one day. Defense attorney William Duncan wrapped up the trial on Friday with closing statements. “Right now you have an awesome, terrible duty,” Duncan said to the jury, describing the grave charges against his client and the jury’s responsibility for deciding her fate. MacCallum exercised her right to not testify, and Duncan suggested that any testimony about his client’s statements should be viewed as the witnesses’ interpretations. Following common threads from his cross examinations, Duncan argued that MacCallum, who had reported her husband Chris missing on Nov. 20, 2012, had described precisely the location where she, Chris and her half-sister, Amber Lubbers, had been camping the last time Chris was seen alive. If MacCallum had wanted to hide or cover up a crime, Duncan said, she could have led detectives to any number of other locations. “If you had committed a murder,” he said, “why would you point police to the exact location?” In addition, Duncan detailed what he believed were a number of evidentiary oversights, such as the lack of cell phone location records of other potential suspects and a failure to perform DNA testing on a glove found at the scene where Chris MacCallum’s body was found. Duncan also probed the testimony of two of the prosecution’s key witnesses, Jeremiah Hills and Amber Lubbers, both of whom alleged that MacCallum had expressed a desire to have her husband killed. In particular, Duncan pointed out changing statements both witnesses made at various points leading up to the trial, including Hills’ initial lack of reference to MacCallum’s possible motives and Lubbers’ count of the shots MacCallum allegedly fired at her husband on Nov. 16, 2012. “Her story changed tremendously” from her arrest to the preliminary hearing to the trial, Duncan said of Lubbers’ testimony, explaining that he felt her memory had appeared to get better with time. In closing, Duncan told the jury, “If you say guilty, you must be able to sleep well.” After Duncan’s statement, prosecutor Joe Allison was allowed time for a rebuttal, followed by the jury entering deliberations, which continue today. Assistant District Attorney Joe Allison spent the better part of Thursday, Dec. 12, laying out the prosecution's closing arguments. Allison reviewed for the jury the weeks of testimony presented by the prosecution's witnesses but also included analysis that Allison felt was relevant for the jury to consider. Among the focal points was the ability of Chris MacCallum to fend off attackers due to his martial arts training. Allison rejected the idea that someone else could have killed Chris MacCallum because he believed it would require wrestling the gun away from a martial arts master. "Who else in the cast of characters didn't kill Christopher MacCallum?" Allison said, ultimately laying blame on Patricia MacCallum, who admitted to investigators that she had bought a gun that detectives considered consistent with bullets found at the scene. Allison led the jury through a thorough review of the testimony offered by MacCallum's half-sister, Amber Lubbers, who accepted an immunity agreement in exchange for testimony that MacCallum had revealed a desire for her husband to be gone and that she had witnessed MacCallum commit the crime. Allison touched on the immunity agreement in his argument, stating that he believed Lubbers had no reason to lie in her testimony because of her immunity to prosecution, as well as her close relationship with the defendant. To provide a foundation for the idea that there was tension between Patricia and Chris MacCallum in the months leading to the murder, Allison read text message conversations and dating website logs to the jury, building on the idea that she wanted the victim out of the way to pursue her freedom. Saying that it was believed Patricia MacCallum killed her husband out of consideration for “money, kids and insurance,” Allison argued that Chris MacCallum was murdered, in part, out of a desire to collect Social Security money to raise his children without his interference. “(Chris' former fiancée) Samantha Adams said Chris would take a bullet for his kids,” Allison said in closing. “The people submit that that is exactly what happened.”