POLL: Jake Couture slaying: Jury now deliberating in James Menard trial

The family of Jake Couture listens to closing arguments Friday during the trial of James Menard who is accused of shooting and killing Couture.  Lexey Swall/Staff

The family of Jake Couture listens to closing arguments Friday during the trial of James Menard who is accused of shooting and killing Couture. Lexey Swall/Staff

After hearing all of the testimony and evidence, a jury will find James Menard?

See the results »

View previous polls »

Video from NBC-2

— With the prosecution and the defense finishing their closing arguments just before noon, the six-man jury is now in deliberation in the murder trial for 24-year-old James Menard for last year's shooting death of 17-year-old Gulf Coast High School student Jake Couture.

Posted earlier:

Both the prosecution and the defense have rested their cases. Collier Circuit Judge Frank Baker ordered a 20-minute recess. Closing arguments will begin at 10 a.m.

Posted earlier:

Day 5 of the James Menard trial for last year's shooting death of 17-year-old Jake Couture is about to begin Friday in Collier County Circuit Court.

The defendant, 24-year-old James Menard, faces a maximum life sentence if convicted of second-degree murder. Menard is also charged with third-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder and two counts of armed trespass.

The shooting death of Jake Couture occurred last year on New Year’s Day at the Brittany Bay Apartments in North Naples.

On Thursday, Menard took the stand as the defense’s only witness and gave the court his side of the story. Menard testified that he fired his .40-caliber Glock handgun in self defense after being pushed by one of Couture's friends and seeing another man, later identified as 17-year-old Brandon Morales, approaching him with what looked like an Uzi. The weapon turned out to be a toy.

Brandon Standifer, 22, of Tampa, was shot at close range in the chest, Michael Fleitas, 16, of Naples, was shot in the buttocks as he ran away, and Jake Couture suffered a fatal gunshot wound to his back.

Menard and three other friends fled the scene in a white pickup truck. He was arrested four days later.

Over the course of the five-day trial, the jury heard testimony from the two surviving victims of the shooting, Fleitas and Standifer, and from crime scene investigators who found an orange hooded sweatshirt, a firearm, holster and two magazines while executing a search warrant at Menard’s residence in Golden Gate Estates.

Closing arguments are expected today.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features