Defense rests in Kevin Coe case - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Defense rests in Kevin Coe case

Spokane, Wash. - The defense rested its case in Kevin Coe's civil commitment trial Tuesday morning. Coe's lawyers called just two more people to the stand today. None of which was the convicted rapist himself.  The defense had left it up in the air as to whether or not they were going to call Kevin Coe as part of their case for whatever reason they decided not to, nor did they read testimony from Gordon Coe at earlier trials.

The defense rested after questioning a friend of the Coe family that first met Kevin Coe back in 1966. She called Coe intelligent, funny, and witty, coming from a wonderful family whose home was a "good place to be". She said she had no idea Coe had been accused of assault in the 60's and arrested on indecent liberties in the 70's.  She testified that she last saw Kevin Coe in the 1980's between his trials, but would periodically speak to him on the phone when visiting her friend Kathy Coe, Kevin's sister. She said once Coe moved to McNeil island his demeanor changed, completely changing his character.

One other witness a Washington State Patrol crime lab employee from the 80's also took the stand today to talk about physical and physiological evidence.

After the defense rested the state recalled Dr. Amy Phenix to the stand to testify in an attempted to rebutt  Monday's testimony from defense expert witness Dr. Theodore Donaldson.  Donaldson testified that Coe's depression would prohibit him from re-offending, putting him at low risk to ever rape again.  Dr. Phenix maintained that she did believe that if Coe was released from custody she believed he could re-offend.  She said she believed he was depressed, but there was a possibility that he may be exaggerating the disorder.

The jury also had some questions for Dr. Phenix.  Among others they asked if she had testified for the defense ever in cases.  She said yes, 20% of her work was for respondents.

Closing arguments will take place first thing Wednesday morning after the council, lawyers and judge meet to go over jury instructions.

Wednesday is exactly one month since the trial began.  The judge had expected the case to take six weeks.

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