Attorneys present closing arguments for Kemia Hassel trial
BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. – The third day of the trial of a United States Army soldier charged murder of her own husband in Berrien County ended on Wednesday.
Kemia Hassel is accused of helping her alleged boyfriend Jeremy Cuellar murder her husband Sgt. Tyrone Hassel III on December 31, 2018.
The prosecution called eight witnesses to the stand on the third day of trial, bringing the total to 23 individual testimonies.
Kemia Hassel did not take the stand, and the defense came to rest without calling a single witness.
The closing arguments from the prosecution connected each testimony to Kemia’s videotaped confession.
The state noted evidence like phone records that showed deleted calls to her husband on the night of the murder. The prosecution also presented the fact that Kemia completely wiped the Snapchat app from her phone, which is the social media tool Kemia confessed to using in order to contact her alleged lover, who is accused of pulling the trigger.
Not only did the jury see Kemia’s videotaped statement throughout the closing argument, they also heard recorded jail house phone calls to her mother, where she admitted to plot out her husband’s death.
The defense’s closing argument claimed that Kemia’s videotaped statement was coerced and threw the idea of second degree murder out to the jury to consider.
The jury will gather to begin deliberation on Thursday morning.