Bushaw murder trial update: Testimony over; closing arguments tomorrow

We’re at the King County Courthouse, where the jury in the Steve Bushaw murder trial has already been sent home for the day, and closing arguments are expected to start first thing tomorrow morning. The final testimony included a brief appearance by defendant Brandon Chaney‘s girlfriend, asked only about a phone call from him the night of the murder, a “rebuttal” appearance by the main Seattle Police detective on the case, James Cooper, asked about interviewing Chaney again in January of this year, and a brief reappearance by Chaney himself. Defendant Bryce Huber‘s lawyer did not call any witnesses. This afternoon, the lawyers and King County Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque will reconvene to discuss the wording of jury instructions (for those following closely, please note, we’re not planning to cover that), and then everyone’s expected back at 9 am tomorrow for closing arguments, after which the case will go to the jury.

17 Replies to "Bushaw murder trial update: Testimony over; closing arguments tomorrow"

  • Curious George August 23, 2011 (4:40 pm)

    Thank you for your faithful coverage. Who are informed when the jury has a verdict and if one wants to come for the verdict, how much time does the judge allow for people to be informed and come down to the courthouse?

    Thank you!

    • WSB August 23, 2011 (4:58 pm)

      Usually the bailiff has a list of who to call. I’ve never seen them give less than a half hour for folks to get to the courthouse. You’d have to call the bailiff (number is online if you google Judge DuBuque) and ask if you can be on a list, but I don’t know what their rules are for calling people aside from lawyers/media/victim’s family. We will likely stake it out, as we did with the last trial we covered three years ago, because the last thing I’d want to do is spend a month covering a trial and then somehow miss being there for the verdict. – TR

  • Curious George August 23, 2011 (5:09 pm)

    Thank you. Will you advise in your blog as soon as you know? That would be much appreciated.

    • WSB August 23, 2011 (5:21 pm)

      I haven’t decided yet how we will handle that. Internet access cuts off occasionally so if you actually want to be there in person – I assume you know someone involved in the case – I would really suggest you plug into whatever grapevine they plan to use. We will of course report the verdict itself the moment it comes in. – TR

  • Kate K August 23, 2011 (6:39 pm)

    Thanks again for your detailed coverage, Tracy. I’ve found your coverage of this tragedy riveting.

  • j cutter August 24, 2011 (1:43 am)

    FREE BRANDON CHANEY!!! You guys don’t know him an he’s not the cold blooded murderer like you guys are making him out to be. Yes, He is guilty for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But he deserves a second chance at life. I think the other 3 do need to take responsibility for their actions an deserve their sentences but Brandon is innocent….I have been keeping up with this story since day one (thanks wsb) an I know the jury will prevail.

  • bridge to somwhere August 24, 2011 (9:42 am)

    @j cutter: I’ll bet if a family member of yours was murdered, you wouldn’t be asking to free the getaway driver. He doesn’t deserve a second chance; he and his friends certainly didn’t give Steve a second chance, did they?

  • Brandon didn't kill anyone August 24, 2011 (11:05 am)

    He just has some bad friend choices.

    He also didn’t have his friends break into someone’s house and beat the crap out of them either.

  • ws August 24, 2011 (12:18 pm)

    And Steve didn’t have his friends break into someone’s house and beat the crap out of them either.
    I suggest we let the jury decide and accept the outcome for what it is. Good or bad.

  • KAYO August 24, 2011 (1:15 pm)

    @JCUTTER So let me get this straight. Everybody but him is guilty, and deserves their sentence but him? WOW! I guess you are as smart as he is then. He didnt know what was going to happen?! He was there. Before at S***’s house, during, and after the murder. Lied to police through out the investigation. THEN left the state. Dont tell me he was scared. Becasue if thats the case he is even less of a man then they are depicting him as. If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, talks like a duck what else could it be? His actions have led people to their own conclusion on what kind of coward (my opinion)he is. Everybody does make bad decisions but when your moral compass is so screwed up that you cant admit when you made a poor choice you deserve nothing other then the love of your family. Dont expect people to feel bad for him or having any sympathy for him or his friends.

  • b August 24, 2011 (1:18 pm)

    @ j cutter & BDKA: Please check your misinformed and, more importantly, unproven posts at the door. They are not warranted here. Whether or not they are “bad friend” choices or not – they are choices. And choices that responsibility needs to be taken for by the person in question making them. Do you really think NOW is the time for you to be spouting “Free ____” remarks across blogs? Right before closing arguments? This must be some kind of last ditch effort in the sad hopes of regaining some sort of misaligned momentum for the guilty party’s role in this debacle. I can only hope you’re fully aware of the choices you make when you post things such as this…

  • wpp August 24, 2011 (6:21 pm)

    free b chaney it wasnt his fault

  • Curious George August 25, 2011 (10:45 am)

    All need to take responsibility for whatever part they played. No one ‘deserves’ a second chance just because they stupidly chose to hang out with people who break the laws, do drugs, overdrink, drink and drive, and participated in some of those same activities themselves. Chaney indicated that he knew of no plan to kill and perhaps it’s true that he stayed in the car (as the phone records confirm) talking on the phone to his girlfriend and then when it lost power, stayed in the car to charge it up. One doesn’t have to necessarily jump to the conclusion that he planned on being the get away car driver for a planned murder. I thought that was the case, until I read other evidence and noted a lack of evidence as well. He said he’d called O’Neal to order him a drink, thinking that the 3 were going into the bar. Evidently the 3rd unarmed man also was unaware of any plan other than to go to the bar to drink and be with friends and possibly confront Steve about details of the home invasion robbery, because that man, although in all the same places that Cheney was with these others, even walking with the gunmen down the breezeway toward California Avenue, also in the car going to and leaving the scene of the crime, has never been charged with anything. So perhaps these two were not aware that Sylve was going to ‘act out’ as Sylve’s own testimony said was his reason for killing in cold blood someone he didn’t even know. Nonetheless a human life was taken and Chaney made the choice to be in the same car, house, bar, ect. with Sylve, who he probably knew was a felon with a long rap sheet, including domestic violence, theft, ect. Culpable of Murder in the first degree or even the second degree? Without testimony from O’Neal, and the other two whose names cannot be mentioned as the police are not charging them, there is no way to come close to knowing the truth. Chaney’s life now is in the hands of the jury and the jury doesn’t have all the information they need to make a truly informed decision. That’s the chance you take when you choose friends that are low lifes that do drugs, sell drugs, pack guns, drink and drive, are thieves, and beat up their wives.

  • ? August 25, 2011 (12:23 pm)

    It is also the chance you take when you are not forthright with the information you do know. It seems clear now that he did know about what happened after the fact and choose not to say anything. A human life was lost and a horrible crime was committed this seems fairly straight forward. I would hope I would cooperate with the law to try and at least make some right in this horrible wrong.

  • Curious George August 25, 2011 (1:09 pm)

    to?: Well stated.

  • bridge to somwhere August 25, 2011 (1:20 pm)

    Well put: @Curious and @?

  • justice August 25, 2011 (7:27 pm)

    I am appalled that some of you have lost the fact that a precious life was taken in a senseless and unwarranted act of evil. Who the hell do they think they are taking away someone’s son, brother, uncle, grandchild, friend!!! Stevie was one of the kindest guys with the biggest heart. I knew him since he was a little boy and have so many wonderful memories of him! Shame on all of you posting to free that slime. They all made a conscientious decision that night with absolutely no remorse. How would you feel?????? I’m sure the same! RIP Stevie and we love you!!!

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