Opening Statements in Menzies Trial Conclude

Aug 6, 2013 7:49 PM

The opening statements have concluded in the Jeffery Menzies trial, a man accused of a sniper-styled killing of 26-year-old David Yang near the intersection of Hwy 32 and Bruce Road in Chico in September 2011.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Murphy told the jury this trial is about a man who went out hunting for human beings.

“Ying didn’t die because of who he was, he died because of where he was,” said Murphy.

Part of the prosecution’s plan in the case will be outlining a conversation between law enforcement officials and Daniel Slack, a close associate of Menzies. In the conversation, Slack reportedly indicated details of the case, including how Menzies left his car at the scene of the crime with a cell phone and shell casings. Police were able to locate Slack by calling the last number dialed on the phone left at the scene, which was Slack’s number.

The prosecution also plans on revealing to the jury a transcript of a phone conversation the police recorded between Slack and Menzies with Slack’s permission.

According to the prosecution, during the phone call Slack asked Menzies why he “did it”, to which Menzies reportedly replied “I dunno”. Slack then reportedly asked Menzies “Why did you kill that guy”, to which Black allegedly replies “Yeah, drunk.” Slack then reportedly asked “drunk for fun?,” to which Menzies allegedly replied “yeah.”

The prosecution also stated Menzies talked to Black about where to hide the murder weapon.

Defense Attorney Jodea Foster then rebutted with his opening argument, claiming this is simply a case of two men attempting a robbery gone wrong. Foster claimed both Menzies and Slack were out to try to find someone to rob in order to get money out of a victim’s ATM. The defense claims Menzies and Slack were approaching Ying’s car when “a shot rang out” and the two men scattered in different directions.

Not only does the defense plan to point out Slack did not notify the police sooner about his conversation with Menzies, but they also plan on presenting forensic witnesses to challenge the prosecution’s evidence. The defense also stated they will present character witnesses proving Menzies is incapable of committing premeditated murder.

“Jeffery Menzies is not the type of person who would sit on a hill and intentionally shoot someone,” said Foster.

The trial is expected to take three weeks. If convicted, Menzies would face life in prison without the possibility of parole. The trial resumes tomorrow.


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