Jury hears closing arguments in VanTilburg trial - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jury hears closing arguments in VanTilburg trial

Thursday was the final day of testimony in the murder trial of former Bartlett firefighter Charles VanTilburg, accused of killing fellow firefighter Tony Gibson in 2000.

In court, jurors saw powerful pictures that showed investigators recovering the victim's body, and a short, silent video of the recovery team pulling Toby, wrapped in tarp, from rural DeSoto County.

In spite of warnings from the judge, Gibson's family members sat through the video. "Most of us wanted to sit in there, and look at it, and just let that man know that we were back there, and we know what he did," said Tony Gibson's uncle, Jeff Gibson.
     
Still, VanTilburg's attorney told the jury the shooting was accidental.  In closing arguments, Leslie Ballin said his client was simply dazed and confused when VanTilburg saw what he had done.

In his rebuttal, Prosecutor Tom Hernderson said VanTilburg knew exactly what he was doing. 

The case then went to the jury, sequestered since trial began Tuesday morning.

VanTilburg was originally found guilty of murder in 2002, but a state appeals court overturned the conviction on a technicality.

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