Posted: Jul 25, 2013 10:42 PM by Erin Schattauer
Updated: Jul 25, 2013 10:42 PM
BOZEMAN - Did Diana Arnold try to kill Dave McDunn the day she broke into his home or did he try to kill her?
That's the question that attorneys posed to jurors at the trial for Arnold during their closing arguments in Gallatin County District Court on Thursday.
County Attorney Marty Lambert claims Arnold, 59, went to the McDunns home on Springhill Road that day, intending to kill Dave McDunn. She went inside, waited then shot him when he got home, according to Lambert.
But defense attorney Chuck Watson says Arnold was mentally ill when she went to the McDunns' home. He claims when Arnold and Dave McDunn began fighting, Arnold ended up begging McDunn to let her go but he kept beating her.
"She's not sorry about anything except that she got caught and has to go to trial," Lambert said. "The defendant will say anything to you to avoid legal consequences for her crimes."
"You're looking at a vulnerable victim, a vulnerable witness," Watson said of Arnold. "In order for her to be guilty, she has to be conscious, she has to be aware."
The defense claims Arnold was involved in a car crash in 1999 that left her with a head injury, which altered her mental state.
"This is a form of mental illness we're just starting to understand," Watson said.
During the trial, jurors saw graphic photos, depicting Dave McDunn in the hospital with gunshot wounds to his head and chest as well as other injuries from the assault. They also saw photos of Arnold, her face bloodied, bite marks on her shoulder and back.
Arnold reportedly went to the McDunns home soon after a judge ruled against her in a civil suit involving a rental issue between the two parties.
Jurors began deliberating at around 2:15 p.m. Thursday.