AMHERST, Va. — The jury is now deliberating the case.
Closing arguments are now underway in the Wesley Earnest case.
DAY NINE: November 19, 2010
Testimony ended Friday morning with the conclusion of the defense case and a surprising revelation from Earnest, who claims he entered his wife's house before her death without her permission.
The admission came as Earnest re-took the stand for cross-examination. Prosecutors asked Earnest about a time in 2006 when he entered Jocelyn Earnest's Pine Bluff home uninvited. Wesley admitted to climbing in through a window. At this point, Jocelyn had changed the locks on her home and Wesley was unable to gain entry through a doorway. While in the home, prosecutors asked Earnest if he wrote on a "timeline," to which Earnest did not recall.
The timeline in question was explained during subsequent testimony. Susan Roark, Jocelyn Earnest's counselor at the time of her death, was called back to the stand. Roark explained that the timeline was a task she asked Earnest to complete as a therapeutic exercise. Prosecutors showed Roark a scroll of paper, which she identified as the timeline. Roark explained that in August, 2007 Jocelyn came to her office "emotionally angry, violated, and scared" after finding that someone had written on her timeline.
A forensic handwriting expert was then called to the stand. Gordon Menzies testified about analyzing the timeline. Menzies says he was able to identify the handwriting of both Jocelyn and Wesley Earnest on the timeline. Among the entries he attributes to Wesley Earnest:
- "1996: Kept telling Wes to sleep with someone else and come home to me."
- "1997: Kept telling Wes I don't want to be with you sexually."
- "1998: (It's ok, Wes took care of me as always)
- "2001: Very understanding husband with me spending late hours at work."
- "2005: Wes kept trying to talk to me, but I just kept shutting him out."
- "2006: We wants another chance to make it work but finds it highly unlikely because Jocelyn's family has too much influence and never fully embraced Wes and Wes' mother was left out of the loop."
The testimony, including the timeline entries, were all read in front of the jury. Outside the jury's presence, prosecutors contended that Wesley broke into Jocelyn's house and assumed her identity to write on her timeline.