Jake Couture slaying: James Menard takes stand in his own defense

During day three of James Menard's murder trial, state witness Alicia Craig, a Collier County Sheriff's Office crime scene investigator, pulls out a piece of evidence — an orange hooded sweatshirt — she obtained and documented while executing a search warrant at Menard's apartment in January 2010. Menard, 24, faces life in prison on the top charge, second-degree murder, in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jake Couture. Two others were injured in the shooting at a North Naples apartment complex last New Year's Day. Lexey Swall/Staff

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During day three of James Menard's murder trial, state witness Alicia Craig, a Collier County Sheriff's Office crime scene investigator, pulls out a piece of evidence — an orange hooded sweatshirt — she obtained and documented while executing a search warrant at Menard's apartment in January 2010. Menard, 24, faces life in prison on the top charge, second-degree murder, in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jake Couture. Two others were injured in the shooting at a North Naples apartment complex last New Year's Day. Lexey Swall/Staff

Video from NBC-2

The defense's first witness is James Menard, the 24-year-old accused of killing Gulf Coast High student Jake Couture.

Update: 4 p.m.

The state has called what will likely be its final witness of the day.

Yubey Figueroa, the Collier County crime scene investigation supervisor who was on the scene Jan. 1, 2010, just took the stand. Figueroa is speaking about evidence that was found in Brittany Bay, and a large piece of evidence will accompany her testimony.

POSTED EARLIER

The state just entered a surveillance video from Jan.1 from the entrance to the Brittany Bay apartments. The videos show a Ford F-150 approaching the gate, and waiting. The vehicle then appears to back up out of surveillance view.

Collier County Dective Steve Spell said this afternoon that there was no common roadway between the two phases of the Brittany Bay community.

POSTED EARLIER

The afternoon session of court is expected to begin momentarily, and the state said it plans to show a one-minute video as part of the evidence.

Two Collier County crime scene investigators this morning discussed forensic evidence in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jake Couture.

The bulk of this morning’s discussion centered around evidence found at the crime scene on Jan. 1, 2010. Leann Whitney, a Collier County crime scene investigator at the time, identified several shell casings she found at the time of the crime.

Whitney also identified blood swabs collected at the scene.

The swabs and the casings were shown to jury members.

Earlier in the morning, Alicia Craig, a Collier County crime scene investigator, spoke about evidence -- an orange hooded sweatshirt, a firearm, holster and two magazines -- she documented while executing a search warrant at Menard’s residence.

The prosecution plans to call a firearm expert and DNA expert after a break.

POSTED EARLIER

The third day of the James Menard trial is set to begin this morning.

Menard, 24, faces a top charge of second-degree murder in connection to the death of 17-year-old Jake Couture.

Couture was shot and killed, and two others were injured, at a North Naples apartment complex last New Year’s Day.

The prosecution has called its first witness, Alicia Craig, a crime scene investigator with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A SPECIAL SECTION ABOUT THE JAKE COUTURE SHOOTING »

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911 CALLS FROM JAKE COUTURE SHOOTING

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Comments » 2

dukecooter writes:

It was self defence!! I am glade that punk is dead, Now i don't have to worry about getting robbed by some loser with a replica toy gun or a real gun, what if this gang of bully's robbed my mother? the punk was carrying a Škorpion vz. 61 submachine gun, Now i have to worry about shooting some a-- hole with a toy gun and going to jail for it, frell that, I am writing to my congress man, if it was used in a crime, ITS A GUN!!! no matter if its a toy or not! that's a felon! Felons get shot in this state!! the loser left and came back with a gun, what was this guy suppose to do when there 3 or 4 gang members trying to rob him and his friends.

dukecooter writes:

I bet the jury will let him go, this is noting but a waste of tax payers money, The judge needs to step down. this was self defence.

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