The murder trial of George West Craigen took a hiatus Wednesday. Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus reported the state wrapped up its case in chief Tuesday afternoon, so the court adjourned the trial for a day and will resume Thursday morning.

Primus said the state did not rest, however, and that meant he had the day to consider the need to present other evidence Thursday. If he does not, the state would rest and the defense would present its side of the case, then the state would get to present rebuttal arguments.

Craigen shot and killed Cecil “Rob” Carter the morning of Dec. 30, 2011, near Milton-Freewater. The defense has conceded those facts are not in dispute, but contends Craigen suffers from brain damage and may have been insane or under extreme emotional duress at the time he killed Carter.

The jury heard testimony Tuesday from the state medical examiner who conducted the autopsy of Carter’s body, a friend who helped alert police to Craigen’s whereabouts, and law enforcement who were part of the investigation. The jury also watched the video of police questioning Craigen about the homicide.

That video was almost two hours long, minus portions the defense objected to as irrelevant and the state edited out. The state considered this an important piece of evidence because Craigen not only admitted to the crime but did not show regret during questioning.

In addition to murder, Craigen faces charges of first-degree manslaughter, felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful use of a firearm and obliterating identification marks on a firearm. The trial concludes Thursday, Oct. 2. Circuit court Judge Russell West of La Grande is presiding.

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