Jury to get Echols case today

A Carson City jury is expected to begin deliberations today in the murder trial of Anthony Echols.

Echols, 41, spent his second day on the stand Tuesday under cross-examination by the prosecution. He repeatedly told the jury the fatal shooting of Carson City custom-home builder Rick Albrecht, 46, on Aug. 5, 2000, was an accident.

"This was not an accident, Mr. Echols. You killed this man in cold blood, isn't that true?" Chief Deputy District Attorney Anne Langer asked.

"No, I did not," Echols said.

"If this was an accident, why didn't you tell the police that?" Langer asked.

"I did, but not in so many words," Echols responded.

Echols is charged with first-degree murder and burglary.

Prosecutors believe Echols was upset over an affair he believed Albrecht was having with Echols' estranged wife, Karen Cade. Echols went to Albrecht's house following Echols' arrest earlier in the day on a restraining-order violation.

Echols contends he went to Albrecht's house only to ask him to stay away from his son. He claims Albrecht invited him into the home, even though he held a .22-caliber Ruger rifle. Echols said the men had come to an agreement when he accidentally fired his rifle twice.

"Why do you have a gun aimed at a man when you're having a nice, friendly conversation?" Langer asked.

"It wasn't aimed at him," Echols replied.

"Here you are running around. You just shot this man twice in the head. Do you call 911?" Langer asked.

"I wish I would have. I'm sorry," he said, facing the jury.

"Isn't it true you felt your relationship with your son was slipping away to another man" Langer asked.

"Yes, I suppose," he replied.

The jury of eight women, four men and two alternates listened to seven days of testimony. Onlookers crowded District Judge Bill Maddox's courtroom while the parents and siblings of both men attended every day of trial.

On questioning by defense attorney Tod Young, Echols again denied he intended to kill Albrecht.

"Did you tell the officers you shot him on purpose?" Young asked.

"No, sir," Echols said quietly.

"At the time when you made (a police) statement, where were you sitting?" Young asked.

"In the back seat of a police car with my hands cuffed behind me," Echols replied.

"What was your emotional state at that time?" Young asked.

"I was hysterical. I was a mess," said Echols, a Reno Hilton maintenance supervisor.

"Did you do it on purpose?" Young asked.

"No, I did not," Echols said.


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