Rutledge jury begins deliberations
Editor’s note: Out of respect for their confidentiality, The Sun will refer to the women in this case only by their first names.
Jurors began deliberation Wednesday on whether Bobby Alvin “B.A.” Rutledge was guilty of sexual misconduct while employed as a county corrections officer in the Truckee jail.
Rutledge, 30, faces a possible 15 years-to-life sentence if convicted on all of the 28 charges.
Attorney Stephen Munkelt ended his defense Tuesday morning by calling two witnesses in one last attempt to discredit the prosecution’s two chief witnesses, Ginger and Mary.
The two women claim Rutledge raped them while they were incarcerated in the jail in 1997. Eleven of the 28 charges involve the two women.
The first witness Tuesday was Bobby Ward, the operations director at a St. Vincent De Paul’s community center in Contra Costa County, where Ginger testified she had borrowed a car from someone named Lillie Martin. Ginger was later convicted of stealing the vehicle, but has testified throughout Rutledge’s trial that she was wrongly accused in the auto theft.
Testimony about car theft
Ward recounted for jurors that he was teaching a class in April 1997 and glanced out the window to see Martin’s “yellow bomb” – an older-model sedan – drive away.
“‘Hey, Lillie, there goes your car,'” Ward testified he said at the time. Martin ran out to check and came back upset that someone had taken her vehicle, Ward told jurors.
A former Chevy’s waitress next testified that she saw Mary and Rutledge at the Auburn restaurant on at least two occasions.
Roberta Quigley said she remembered the two “acting like acquaintances” when she waited on them, she testified.
Mary told jurors earlier that she went to dinner with the former jailer after being raped because she was fearful of him.
After jurors were dismissed for the day, Munkelt again asked that Superior Court Judge Ersel L. Edwards acquit Rutledge of the most serious charges.
“(Mary) lied to this court, and she lied to the jury on her level of intoxication … Munkelt said. “She lied about everything.”
As far as Ginger is concerned, Munkelt said, “she tried to weasel out of every corner she found herself in.”
Ferguson, in arguing against acquittal, said Ginger was “untruthful on collateral issues,” but that the jury should decide.
Edwards said that while Munkelt “presented excellent closing arguments,” he couldn’t interject himself into the process. “The classic function of the jury is in determining the credibility of the evidence.”
Edwards added that “the jury on some days is a judge’s best friend. This is one of those days.”
Munkelt and Ferguson spent the rest of the day hammering out instructions to the jury with Edwards. Closing arguments were to begin at 1:30 p.m. today with the jury beginning deliberations afterward.
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