Trial highlights, in their own words

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2001

From attorneys and witnesses during Zebulon Nudson's trial, which ended Thursday, when a jury declared him not guilty on all counts:

"The evidence will show that what he did went far beyond self-defense. ... Our society does not condone vigilante justice."

-- John Wolfe of the Kenai District Attorney's Office during opening statements on March 23

"This case began with lies, and, slowly but surely, we're getting through the lies. ... Zeb (Nudson) had a bigger gun and higher ground, so he was able to defend his life and protect his home."

-- Defense attorney James McComas in opening arguments on March 23

"He's got a gun. Let's get out of here."

-- Rick Sanchez testifying on March 27 to what he heard Robbie Meireis say at Nudson's house just before the shooting started March 12, 2000

"You're dead. You're all f------ dead."

-- Troy Lee on March 30, testifying about what Rick Sanchez and Justin Meireis were yelling when they left Nudson's home the night before the shooting in which Justin Meireis was killed

"Robbie said 'Get out here, I'm going to kick your a--' and s--- like that."

-- Gary Waddington testifying on April 2, about how Robbie and Justin Meireis approached Nudson's home with Robbie shouting profanity as he hurried to the front porch on March 12, 2000

"I did an examination of the exterior and the interior (of Nudson's home for bullet holes), and I did not find anything."

-- Margie Escobar, of the Alaska State Troopers Criminal Investigation Unit during testimony April 2

"The court should terminate the case because of bad faith of the prosecutor. If you don't, it will continue ... . This is a murder trial that never should have been indicted ... . This isn't good. This isn't good. Enough is enough."

-- Defense attorney James McComas on April 4 in asking Superior Court Judge Jonathan Link to either acquit his client, Zebulon Nudson, or dismiss the case

"I was trying to keep myself from getting shot."

-- Defendant Zebulon Nudson of Nikiski in trial testimony April 9

"Reacting to an ambush is a battle drill. You do it over and over until it becomes what we call a muscle reaction. It just becomes a reaction."

-- U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Arthur Burgoyne in trial testimony April 9

"We don't get to kill people we don't like. ... The sole issue is did (Nudson) have a legal right to kill another human being."

-- John Wolfe of the Kenai District Attorney's Office in closing statements April 11

"He was firing to suppress fire. ... The time has come to give this young man back his name. This is not 'the defendant.' This is Zeb. Zeb Nudson. And he committed no crime."

-- Defense attorney James McComas in closing statements April 11

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