GI Murder Trial Goes to Jury
An accused killer's fate is now in the hands of a jury. At 2:25 Monday afternoon, deliberations began in the case against Arkanjelo Kot.
Kot, 35, Grand Island, is charged with first degree murder in the death of Walid Omar Aden.
Aden was shot while sitting in a van outside a Grand Island convenience store in 2010.
Aden was probably drunk, according to the prosecutor. Hall County Attorney Mark Young said Aden said "hurtful and wrong things" and may have made some threats.
But Young said Kot could have walked away but didn't. Instead, Young said surveillance video shows what Kot did. "Chambers a round... walks back over to the van. At the van he raises his arm and fires a shot."
Young believes this shows the shooting was premeditated, saying the decision may have been made in an instant.
Defense attorney Clarence Mock addressed the jury for more than an hour.
He went over Kot's tragic upbringing amidst civil war in Sudan. Despite that, he said Kot was not violent but tried to better himself once he came to the U.S.
Things changed when Kot was shot in the foot and his was cousin killed "by murdering thugs," Mock said.
Kot testified against the gunman in that case and got a gun to protect himself, he argued.
"Did he get up with murder in his heart," Mock asked jurors.
No, Mock said, it was a normal day but trouble found him. Mock said the fatal shot was an accident. He said Kot did not try to kill anyone.
Now the jury will weigh in. A panel of nine women and three men were given the case around 2:25 p.m. and retreated to the jury room a few minutes later.
However, at 5:00 p.m., Judge James Livingston announced jurors had decided to call it a night and resume at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday.
Jurors were allowed to go home for the evening.