LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - A Lufkin man has been found guilty in the 2015 drowning of a toddler.
An Angelina County jury returned the verdict Friday afternoon, finding Bobby Woods Jr. guilty of capital murder in the death of 3-year-old Mason Cuttler.
After seven days of testimony, prosecutors and the defense presented their closing arguments Friday morning, and the jury began deliberations shortly before noon.
Woods will be sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to the prosecution.
PREVIOUS UPDATE (Friday afternoon)
Jury deliberations are underway in the capital murder trial of Bobby Woods Jr. He’s charged in the drowning death of 3-year-old Mason Cuttler in 2015. Woods faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
PREVIOUS UPDATE (Friday midday):
Closing arguments continued Friday morning in the capital murder trial of Lufkin man accused of drowning a toddler.
John Tunnell, defense attorney for Bobby Woods Jr., told jurors this is the kind of case that invokes a great deal of emotion. Tunnell said Mason Cuttler’s drowning was a tragic accident and that there was no evidence evidence a crime had been committed.
Tunnell said a polygraph taken by Woods was used against him as an interrogation tactic. Woods failed in polygraph and the officers knew the results could not be used against him in court because the results are not admissible as evidence.
Tunnell argued his client did not know that part of the law, and the results were used to illicit a false confession from Woods. The prosecution argued Woods freely and voluntarily confessed to Mason’s murder.
The defense lost its motion to keep that confession out of evidence during a suppression hearing held in July.
PREVIOUS STORY (Friday morning):
Closing arguments got underway Friday morning in the capital murder trial of Bobby Woods, Jr., 21., of Lufkin.
Woods is accused of drowning 3-year-old Mason Cuttler in 2015. He initially confessed to pushing Cuttler into a pond on the family’s property, and then turning his back and letting the boy drown.
Prosecutor Ken dies argued Friday that Woods was not in custody when he freely and voluntarily gave statements to investigators and that Woods did not argue with them during the early stages of the investigation.
State argued that law enforcement was persistence to elicit the truth out of woods.
On Thursday, Woods told jurors his confession was a lie and that he was intimidated by authorities who were questioning him. He also testified he waived his Miranda Rights because he thought having an attorney was for guilty people.
Woods said he wanted to explain himself and his innocence in this case and for that reason he talked to authorities.
Last month, a judge denied Woods’ motion to keep that confession out of evidence.
If convicted, Woods would be sentenced to life without parole.
Mason’s aunt, Billie Jean Cuttler, was also charged with capital murder in Mason’s death. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree felony conspiracy to commit murder, according to Angelina County District Attorney Joe Martin.
Cuttler’s plea included agreeing to testify in Woods’ trial if called to the stand. Neither the defense nor the prosecution called Cuttler as a witness.
Cuttler also agreed to waive any further appeals in regard to her competency and in her criminal case.