CLEVELAND COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A verdict in William McCullen's murder trial could come as early as Monday, as the prosecution rested its case on Friday inside a Cleveland County courtroom.
McCullen is accused of beating and killing 3-year-old Jordyn Dumont, the daughter of his live-in girlfriend. Dumont's body was found buried in a wooded area not too far from the couple's Gaston County home.
During Friday's court sessions, McCullen was asked if he wanted to take the stand but he declined and waived his right to testify. When the judge asked, McCullen stated jurors already heard previously recorded statements from him throughout the trial so there was no need.
Before the state's prosecution team rested its case, they called one last witness to the stand. It was the medical examiner who performed Jordyn's autopsy. His testimony was to give the jury a clearer idea as to how Jordyn died.
"In my opinion, the cause of death is blunt force injuries due to assault," said Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner Jonathan Privette.
Very graphic photos of Jordyn's badly bruised body were shown to the jurors as the medical examiner confirmed that the 3-year-old died after receiving injuries to her stomach, which could have been caused by an adult male who punched her repeatedly.
Privette added, "Yes, the injuries could be caused by that."
He also said that Jordyn's death was not instant, but that she probably took her last breath minutes after being assaulted.
"We're talking minutes as opposed to hours," Privette confirmed.
With McCullen facing a first-degree murder charge on the basis of torture, his lawyer asked the Cleveland County judge to reconsider. That request was denied and the judge said he would keep the charge as-is.
Sessions will continue on Monday morning as both the state and the defense will present their closing arguments. After that, the jury will start the process of deliberations.