Defense rests in Curtis Thornton arson trial; closing arguments - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Defense rests in Curtis Thornton arson trial; closing arguments set for Thursday

Posted: Updated:
Former Birmingham police officer Curtis Thornton during his arson trial Wednesday, June 12, 2013. (abc3340.com) Former Birmingham police officer Curtis Thornton during his arson trial Wednesday, June 12, 2013. (abc3340.com)

The legal defense team for a former Birmingham police officer on trial for arson rested its case Wednesday afternoon after calling only one witness and just three days after court proceedings began.

The defendant, Curtis Thornton, was the only person called to the witness stand by the defense, and he denied any involvement in fires in Ensley and Warrior during his testimony. He also said the state's witnesses, which included current and former police officers and his ex-fiancé, were lying when they testified under oath that he confessed to the fires.

Thornton also denied other allegations made against him during testimony given by two of the prosecution's witnesses. Earlier in the day, a former Marathon gas station employee claimed Thornton poured alcohol on the store's counter then lit it on fire. Another witness testified that he set a t-shirt on fire in the presence of another Birmingham police officer at a vacant house.

Thornton also tried to explain why his patrol car was parked near a home at 1577 Martin Avenue in Ensley for an extended period of time the night it was destroyed by fire, saying he was following a couple of suspicious black males who had left the nearby Sun Inn.

Officer Patrick Bailey testified Thornton would tell him to "be careful" on his shift that night and that a house was "gonna go up" in flames on his beat. He also said Thornton would joke about the houses he had set on fire.

Bailey said he never told his superiors about it because the precinct viewed Thornton as "a little off," and he was afraid what might happen.

Closing arguments are expected Thursday morning before the judge hands the case over to the jury for deliberation.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Justin Bieber arrested on assault, dangerous driving charges, according to Ontario police

    Justin Bieber arrested on assault, dangerous driving charges, according to Ontario police

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:42 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:42:52 GMT
    Canadian pop star Justin Bieber faces new charges after police said Tuesday he was arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and an ATV that led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario.More >>
    Canadian pop star Justin Bieber faces new charges after police said Tuesday he was arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and an ATV that led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario.
    More >>
  • Video appears to show beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIS

    Video appears to show beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIS

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:26 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:26:17 GMT
    An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group.More >>
    An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group.
    More >>
  • Halliburton reaches $1.1Billion oil spill settlement

    Halliburton reaches $1.1Billion oil spill settlement

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:11:01 GMT
    Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The settlement, which is subject to court approval, will be paid into a trust until appeals are resolved over the next two years.More >>
    Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The settlement, which is subject to court approval, will be paid into a trust until appeals are resolved over the next two years.
    More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Clean out your cabinets for Drug Take-Back Day

    Clean out your cabinets for Drug Take-Back Day

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:38 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:38:07 GMT
    Do you have a drawer or cabinet of medicines? Are any of them out of date? Now is the time to check because you can safely dispose of the medications at the Etowah County Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is part of a nationwide effort. The event will be Saturday, September 27. A take-back station will be set up at the East Gadsden Walmart from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.A law enforcement officer will remain with the drug disposal box at all times, and the drugs that are turned in will be tr...More >>
    Do you have a drawer or cabinet of medicines? Are any of them out of date? Now is the time to check because you can safely dispose of the medications at the Etowah County Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is part of a nationwide effort. The event will be Saturday, September 27. A take-back station will be set up at the East Gadsden Walmart from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.A law enforcement officer will remain with the drug disposal box at all times, and the drugs that are turned in will be tr...More >>
  • Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:45:16 GMT
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
  • Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:22:34 GMT
    Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...