Closing arguments set for Mack trial
Friday, November 08, 2013 10:00 AM
Closing arguments were scheduled to begin today in the trial of a man who faces drug, weapon and counterfeiting charges.
Prosecutors finished presenting evidence against Thomas Mack, 46, around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. The defense rested its case later in the day after more than two hours of testimony.
The main focus of evidence in the case was whether Mack was living at the house where police arrested him on several charges, including possession of a weapon by a serious violent felon, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and forgery.
Police arrested Mack in March after executing a search warrant at 3587 Woodside Drive and charged him related to items found in the home, including paraphernalia they believed to be related to the use of drugs.
Karen Bowen, a forensic scientist with the Indiana State Police lab in Indianapolis, tested the items collected by police at the Woodside Drive address. Bowen testified Thursday that of all the items police collected, only one item tested positive for narcotics, specifically, meth. The meth, she said, was only a "residual amount" and there was not enough for the lab to weigh it.
"There was no measureable amount of powder," she said.
Some powders collected by police tested positive as items commonly used to mix or cut with meth, but alone, those items are not illegal to possess. Those powders did not test positive for any controlled substance.
Lt. Det. Tyson Eblen said one item recovered from the house was a pipe that tested positive for marijuana. Those were the only two items recovered from the Woodside Drive home that tested positive for illegal substances.
The drugs and counterfeiting items that were found in the home were all found in one of the bedrooms. The bedroom had men's clothing strewn around the room, according to police, but very little of it was photographed and none of it was taken into evidence.
Other than the clothes - which were not definitely tied to Mack - police also found personal items in a crawl space in the closet.
Police found mail and love letters addressed to Mack in a folder in the crawl space. The folder also contained a piece of paper that contained five images of $100 bills, which police say constitutes evidence of counterfeiting.
Jim Spencer, Mack's defense attorney, said the Woodside Drive residence is where Mack's girlfriend, Audrey Ashby, lives and Mack stayed there on occasion but did not live there.
Mack's brothers, Dwight and Noel Mack, both testified that Thomas Mack stayed with them multiple nights a week. They also said Thomas Mack left clothes, a toothbrush and other personal items at their homes.
Sandy Shelley, the property manager of the property where Thomas Mack was arrested, said she had never seen him prior to the legal proceedings beginning. Shelley acknowledged she oversees about 200 lots in three different areas.
Prosecutors offered several pieces of evidence they felt established that Mack was living at the Woodside Drive address. During a visit from parole officers, Mack took his girlfriend's son into the kitchen and fed him cereal, an act he said they did every day together, according to testimony from the parole officer.
During a recorded phone call from the jail, Mack directed an unidentified woman to enter the Woodside Drive residence and said, "it's my house."
Closing arguments were set to begin at 9 a.m. today. The trial has been split into two parts to avoid influencing the jury. Mack's charge of possession of a weapon by a serious violent felon involves revealing the fact that he has previous convictions of felony intimidation and felony battery with a serious deadly weapon. Criminal history is not allowed to be presented during the jury trial phase. The weapon charge will be tried after the jury returns a verdict on the first part of the trial.