Brown County District Attorney Micheal Murray says Paul Eugene Umsted, Jr. was found guilty of attempted capital murder with a deadly weapon.
Punishment begins Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
He faces 45-99 years or life.
District Attorney Micheal Murray rested the state's case and defense attorney Kirk Fulk rested the defense at 10:25 this morning in Brown County's 35th District court, in the attempted murder case against 52 year old Paul Eugene Umstead, Jr. He was indicted on charges of attempted murder after allegedly beating 48-year-old James Clark with a baseball bat Feb. 28, 2009 and leaving him for dead.
According to courtroom testimony, Clark had accused John Franklin "Tiger" Walker Jr. of stealing prescription medications, and an altercation led to Clark striking Walker in the face, fracturing his nose and knocking out a front tooth. Walker, who is serving a prison sentence, testified in court this morning with his attorney, Nathan Butler, at his side. Walker testified after being given immunity in the case. Walker told the jury that he was furious after Clark hit him and after he was released from the hospital, he contacted Umstead with plans to retaliate against Clark.
Walker told the court that Clark was bigger and stronger than he was, and Umstead could even the score for him. Walker testified that he and Umstead went to Clark's apartment about 3:00 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2009. Walker knocked on the door and when Clark answered it, Umstead stepped in and, in Walker's words, "whacked" Clark with the bat.
Walker said as Clark started going down, Umstead "whacked" him again and he went out. Walker told the court that Umstead hit Clark 15-20 times with the bat, and that Clark's apartment looked like a slaughter house as blood had splattered as far as the kitchen sink. Walker said he told Umstead to drag Clark into the bedroom and "finish him off, because dead men tell no tales."
In a brief defense, attorney Kirk Fulk argued the validity of the witness statements and their credibility. Fulk also attempted to raise question to the validity of victim James Clark's testimony. Clark miraculously survived the attack after emergency brain and reconstructive surgery in San Angelo, and admitted in the stand that he had problems with his memory, emotional problems, and nightmares of the event.
Judge Stephen Ellis began preparing the charge for the jury at 10:25 this morning, and advised the jury that he expected them to stay in the jury deliberation chambers after lunch, until they reach a verdict.
The jury begins deliberations this afternoon in 35th district court in Brownwood.