The jury in the Megan Martzen trial heard a little more about the defendant in court Friday. The defense called three character witnesses to the stand, hoping to prove Martzen is not capable of killing a child.
In court Friday, the defense brought light to the type of person Megan Martzen is.
The first to testify was Clovis Police sergeant, James Boldt. Boldt said he'd known Martzen for years and that they went to the same church. Martzen often babysat Boldt's 7-year-old daughter. He told the jury she was an awesome babysitter and said, "She was patient, gentle, and caring."
Michael Idiart is a Fresno defense attorney. At one time he was a prosecutor. He says character testimony is huge for the defense.
"It's always more difficult for a jury to convict when you have someone who appears to be a good person and you have people are willing to come to court to say that, but the prosecutor's going to argue 'we're not saying that this person isn't a good person and hasn't done a lot of good things, but there's an old saying that good people sometimes do bad things.'"
Detective Mark Diedrich was back on the stand Friday. He worked for the Reedley Police Department and handled Ella's case. The defense claims he botched the investigation.
Martzen testified she told police she was working on her laptop when Ella fell off the bed. Diedrich admitted the department never checked the lap top or internet records to determine if Martzen was telling the truth.
"You have the argument, well here's all this good evidence which helped us but the police weren't interested in it. hey made their mind up, so how can you disbelieve her," says Idiart.
The jury has now heard expert testimony supporting both the prosecution and the defense's theories about Ellas' death. Idiart says two good explanations, might be enough to create reasonable doubt.
"This is not a clear cut case and whenever you don't have a clear cut case, given the burden of proof, I think you have to give a slight edge to the defense."
Martzen did not take the stand Friday because she was not feeling well. She is expected to continue her testimony Monday morning. The jury could hear closing arguments as soon as Thursday.