Officer's Defense Begins Friday Morning

Calvin Davidson was one of eight inmates at the Moss Point city jail the night Marcus Malone was arrested. Davidson testified that Malone was dead when Officer Steve Strickler and another officer brought him into the cell saying, "He was wearing cuffs. He never moved. He never made a sound... I told the police this man is dead."

That testimony was backed-up by forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Boden. Dr. Boden told jurors, he believed Malone died from a choke hold before he arrived at the jail.

"I think that Dr. Boden and Dr. Hayne were both clear in the fact that Mr. Malone died as a result of compression to his neck, and I think Dr. Boden additionally made it clear to those jurors he was dead when he arrived," said District Attorney Keith Miller.

Miller decided to wrap up the state's case, after he felt Officer Strickler was linked to all of the events leading up to Malone's death.

"We know that Mr. Strickler applied the very first choke hold. We also know that Mr. Strickler was there with Mr. Malone for the entire time from the initial stop out on the road, all the way to the point where he was dropped in the cell," said Miller.

Defense Attorney Frank Trapp countered the doctor's testimony by focusing on Malone's use of cocaine the night of September 13th, 1999. He argued that Malone was on a cocaine high that left him out of control, and unable to communicate.

Both doctors testified that such a "delirium" was possible, but rare, and did not lead to Malone's death.

Defense Attorney Frank Trapp will begin presenting Strickler's side Friday morning at 8 am. There's no indication yet if Strickler will take the stand in his own defense.