Jury deliberations begin for Cindy Stewart

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

The jury in the meth case against Cindy Stewart was excused to begin deliberations at around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, June 22, 2011. Closing arguments from State's Attorney Gregory McHugh and Public Defender Katherine Drummond took about an hour, followed by the judge's instructions.

While neither opening or closing statements are to be taken into consideration when coming up with a verdict, both attorneys went through the testimony given to buoy up their cases.

McHugh emphacized the points in the methamphetamine statute that defined "Participation in methamphetamine manufacturing" and the distance from a place of worship, which McHugh said the law states is "a straight line."

He pointed to Cindy's admission both during testimony and in a written document where she admitted to purchasing cold medicine and lithium batteries.

Drummond pointed out that her client was honest throughout the entire process of the trial. She argued the sheriff's department's use of a Simmonds Range Finder for measuring the distance from the Stewart residence to St. Mary's Church should not be trusted, since the instrument was never calibrated prior to it being used. She added there were discrepancies from both the state and the defense on the measurements "proving there is a doubt of the measurement."

She said the state failed to prove it was a consecrated church.