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Closing arguments end in Zaevion Dobson trial

Published: Dec. 12, 2017 at 2:23 PM EST
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The defense rested its case and closing arguments ended in the Zaevion Dobson trial Wednesday. The judge gave instructions to the jury just before 5 p.m. The judge sent jurors in to decide who the foreman was and if they would begin deliberations Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.

The court determined the jury would begin deliberations Thursday morning.

The defense called an expert in rap music as their first witness to the stand Wednesday morning.

The rap expert mentioned that Eric Nielson has written pieces in Rolling Stone on "Why lyrics should be off limits" during trials.

The lyrics from the rap video featuring the defendants was "ripped off" from a rapper named EDay, according to the rap expert.

Last Wednesday, the state showed witness Larry North the rap video titled "L.I.E. Gang." North identified Kipling Colbert Jr., Richard Williams and Christopher Bassett in the video.

Defense attorneys for Bassett and Williams have continued to defend their alleged involvement in a rap video authorities call gang-related.

"Because of this video, the state of Tennessee is going to try to get you to think they [Bassett,Williams and Colbert] are gang members. They just want to be rappers," Colbert's attorney challenged last Tuesday.

The State rested their case in the Zaevion Dobson trial on Tuesday afternoon.

Christopher Drone Bassett, Kipling Deshawn Colbert and Richard Gregory Williams III all face first-degree murder charges in connection with the Dec. 17, 2015, death of the Knoxville teen who was posthumously honored for his courage.

Tuesday's sixth day of testimony featured a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Digital Forensic Analyst, a firearm expert with the Knoxville Police Department, and the Chief Medical Examiner taking the stand.

TBI Digital Forensic Analyst Joel Wade was first to testify Tuesday. Wade said he pulled deleted text messages from Snapchat.

A firearm expert with the Knoxville Police Department was next on the stand. The expert told the jury about the bullet cartridges recovered at the Lonsdale scene and displayed two guns used in the shooting that took Zaevion Dobson's life.

Chief Medical Examiner Officer Dr. Mileusnic-Polchan spoke about the autopsy she performed on the Fulton football standout.

Emotions were heavy in the courtroom Tuesday as Zaevion's mother, Zenobia, cried during the overview of her son's autopsy.

Dr. Mileusnic-Polchan said a blood test performed after Zaevion's death showed no drugs in his system. The examiner also presented the bullet that killed the teen.

Local 8 News reporter Lauren Davis reported that the defendants refused to take the stand. Only one defense witness was scheduled to take the stand on Wednesday, so the judge said the jury could deliberate as early as Wednesday.

However, the jury was dismissed Wednesday evening, due to return to court for deliberations at 9 a.m. Thursday.

15-year-old Zaevion was killed after he threw himself on top of his friends to shield them from gunfire. Investigators reported the shooting was gang-related and the victims were picked at random.

Zaevion's final act gained national attention, including praise from former President Barack Obama and the honor of an Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2016 ESPY Awards.