Both the prosecution and defense rested their cases Wednesday afternoon in the trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing a friend to death last year.
After hearing closing arguments, the jury spent about two hours discussing the case of Cameron Scott “Fishman” Halliburton, 29, before telling Circuit Judge Carlton Jones they could not reach a decision. Jones placed the jury in an evening recess with instructions to return Thursday morning to the Miller County courthouse to continue deliberations.
Halliburton is accused of stabbing Jarrod Klein, 27, to death in the early morning hours of Nov. 26, 2017. Klein was found dead behind the wheel of his Chevy truck as it rested against a tree off Linden Street near the Family Dollar Store. Detectives obtained video footage from the dollar store which showed the truck pass through the parking lot at about 1:30 a.m. and out of view. A few minutes later Halliburton can be seen staggering in the parking lot as he approaches and tries to open the door of the business.
The truck was in park when found by police but they were never able to locate the keys. The passenger side door was open.
When Halliburton is arrested later that day he is wearing the same clothing as in the store video. Using a receipt from the Flying J Truck Stop for pizza found in the car, detectives were able to track down people who had been with Halliburton and Klein that day. Witnesses testified that Halliburton had with him the night of Nov. 25, 2017, the filet knife he always carried in a sheath on his belt. At the time of his arrest the knife sheath on Halliburton’s belt was empty and a murder weapon was never found.
Witness Curtis Flowers testified that Halliburton came to his home in the early hours of Nov. 26, 2017, and claimed to have stabbed Klein to death in a hotel room. Flowers said Halliburton told him that he stabbed his friend because Klein woke him up by hitting him.
Klein was stabbed 10 times, Medical Examiner Stephen Erickson testified on Tuesday. Erickson said Klein was moving when he was stabbed in the face and in his left eye, an injury which would have probably blinded the eye. Erickson said Klein was unresponsive when he was stabbed seven times in his neck because of a fatal stab wound to his chest which caused his heart to pump blood into his chest cavity.
In interviews with detectives Halliburton claimed Klein had dropped him off on Elizabeth Street in Texarkana, Texas, at around midnight. When confronted with the presence of Klein’s blood on his jacket sleeve, Halliburton claimed he had gotten blood on him climbing over Klein’s body to exit the truck after someone else had stabbed Klein and the truck had wrecked and the passenger door wouldn’t open.
Photos shown to the jury showed the truck’s passenger door would open and investigators were able to rule out two men who Klein blamed the killing on. One man had gotten a ride from Klein to a local nightclub at approximately 12:45 a.m. Texarkana, Ark., Detective Wayne Easley testified that video from the club showed the man stayed there until closing at 2 a.m., long after the truck was seen traveling through the store parking lot. Easley said another man blamed by Klein was cleared as a suspect also.
Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Potter Barrett and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kristian Robertson argued that the evidence clearly shows Halliburton is guilty. Managing Public Defender Jason Mitchell argued that there are gaps in the evidence and that Halliburton’s changing accounts could be the result of abusing synthetic marijuana. Barrett pointed out that Halliburton had no difficulty recalling certain facts other than Klein’s murder.
Jones instructed the jury to return to the courthouse to continue deliberations Thursday morning. Halliburton is facing 10 to 40 years or life if convicted of first-degree murder.