11Alive's Julie Wolfe has been sitting in the front row of the courtroom since the Andrea Sneiderman trial began. She's logging daily blogs about what happens inside the courtroom and behind the scenes.
The jury that's been laughing, sighing, groaning, even writing notes to each other suddenly found their poker faces. Just in time for the closing arguments.
RELATED| Funny sayings from Judge Adams
Tom Clegg took closing arguments for the defense. He knew he was the underdog from the moment he started: "We've been together nine days. Who's fooling who. You've picked up on personality traits like Mrs. Cross checking off list with flourish. Ixnay on thinking about the habits. That's not what this is about."
Clegg has been hammered on social media about everything from his voice to his shrugs to his staccato-style of questioning. A very experienced law expert I spoke with this week called him "the surprise star in all of this". When the legal arguing got tough, in the jury's presence and not, he took the lead. Still, he wasn't talking about Mrs. Cross' likeability. He was talking about his own.
He went on to give a solid closing argument. The jury watched closely. "You can't rely on a hunch, feeling, guess," he told them. He focused much of his hour time on reasonable doubt. He questioned the handling of the case by the Dunwoody police department.
Then, the move that caused snickers and gasps: he moved onto Shayna Citron. "Oh, she's great". He said she acted like she was trying out for a TV show: Real Housewives of Atlanta. Then, to the jury: "Did you see her outfit the second day? That red dress?" A heard a whisper behind me: "I can't believe he just said that." Twitter went crazy. And then he did a "reenactment".
@SCainNJ "No. He's not. OMG he's making fun of a witnesss??!! #Sneiderman"
@robynd323 "Remember it's showtime". If he says Showtime again, I'm doing a shot. #Sneiderman
He ended by saying, "Send this woman home to her kids. She doesn't deserve to be here." At the break before the district attorney started, Andrea Sneiderman's mom gave him a hug. There were a lot of tears in her camp.
And then District Attorney Robert James took the stage... by sitting. At least to start. Over the next 60 minutes, he danced, he collapsed, he took the witness stand, he yelled, he whined. There's no other way to put it: the courtroom was captivated.
"What kind of twisted little game is she playing? She's a manipulator. She's a deceiver. If she was on the street you'd say, she got game," He said. He pointed and yelled at Andrea Sneiderman several times, "You are a liar!"
"She is an unmitigated, unqualified liar. Every time her mouth opens, she lies," he said.
The media bench is right behind the prosecutor's table. As the jury was leaving, he turned to ADA Kellie Hill: "How did it go?" he whispered. She quickly nodded an affirmative. The state's side was all smiles. The hallway outside the courtroom was swarmed with congratulations. You might have thought the District Attorney had already won the case. And then Twitter went really crazy.
@Hey_Jude18 "Wow. Prosecutor James just nailed his closing. #Sneiderman"
@CourtChatter: "LOVED James' closing. Getting right in AS face. Not something you see at every trial."
Not all of it was positive:
@GaBullDawg48 I thought it was very unprofessional when the DA mocked the mom and Mr. Clegg.
But, really, most of the comments were overwhelmingly in his favor. If closing arguments are a performance, Tom Clegg got a healthy round of applause. DA Robert James got a standing ovation.
And that has nothing at all to do with the law behind the case. That's up to the jury. Now that jurors 61, 66, 72 were informed of the alternate status; it's official. The jury that will decide Andrea Sniedmerman's fate is made of 1 white female, 1 Hispanic male, 5 black females, and 5 black males.
The judge and DA's office have my number. They've promised to give us an 18 minute heads up.
FULL COVERAGE| Andrea Sneiderman trial
If you have questions or comments, be sure to tag me @JulieWolfe on twitter.