By Makisha Singh
After about three hours of deliberation, the jury decided that Anthony Goodson, Jr., and Rudy Gonzalez II were guilty of all three counts on which they were charged: sale of marijuana (on August 29, 2014), sale of a controlled substance (on September 5, 2014) and sale of marijuana (on September 5, 2014).
Deputy District Attorney Larry Eichele, began the morning session with his closing argument. He emphasized that there was direct evidence that Gonzalez “sat there and got money for drugs” and then went on to give marijuana to Detective Sean Bellamy, while Goodson’s part in the encounter can only be determined by inferences.
Defense Attorney Robert Spangler then gave his closing argument, in which he stated that there was simply too much unknown information for the jury to return a guilty verdict. He emphasized that the words exchanged between Gonzalez and Goodson are unknown and argued that Goodson didn’t know that marijuana was being sold.
Next, Deputy Public Defender Monica Brushia, counsel for Mr. Gonzalez, proceeded with her closing argument, in which she repeated her previous claim that Gonzalez was a “pawn” and not a middle man. Her justification was that he didn’t negotiate with Bellamy and he didn’t know the prices for the drugs, so he was essentially just being used to go back and forth between Detective Bellamy and Goodson’s car. At the end of her closing argument, Ms. Brushia looked visibly riled up and raised her voice as she reiterated her pawn theory and added that there was also no evidence that Gonzalez ever got anything from the transaction, such as money, gifts or drugs.
Judge Rosenberg then directed Mr. Eichele to give the final closing argument. Mr. Eichele claimed that, although it was previously stated that Gonzalez had a medical marijuana card, there was no evidence of medical marijuana. He said that Mr. Gonzalez had to knowingly have done the things he did. He rejected Ms. Brushia’s argument of Gonzalez being a pawn by reiterating that if he knowingly did anything, he can’t be considered a pawn.
The dominantly Caucasian jury reached a verdict of guilty on all three counts for Goodson, who is African-American, and Gonzalez, who is Hispanic. Gonzalez is to be back in court for sentencing on April 2 at 10 a.m. in Department 4, and Goodson is to return on April 23 at 10 a.m., also in Department 4.