SHELBY The prosecution rested its case Friday in the trial of Donald Borders, charged with the rape and murder of 79-year-old Margaret Tessneer in 2003.
Inclement weather delayed the start of closing arguments; Superior Court Judge Richard Boner sent the jury home at 10:30 a.m. because of potentially hazardous travel conditions due to rain and sleet. They were instructed to be back in court for closing arguments on Monday. Court reconvenes at 9:30 a.m.
The prosecution rested shortly after court convened Friday morning. The defense offered no evidence and Borders declined to testify.
Boner denied motions by defense attorney David Teddy to dismiss the charges of first-degree murder, first-degree rape and felonious breaking and entering on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
Tessneer was one of three elderly women found dead in their beds, with doors unlocked and phone lines cut or yanked out.
Testimony in the high-profile trial began Jan. 14 after three days of jury selection.
The prosecution presented evidence showing how in 2004 a DNA profile was created from sperm found in Tessneer’s vagina. In 2009, that profile matched two profiles created from DNA samples obtained from Borders.
The defense has contended the crime scene was contaminated by a number of people and that the case against Borders has been tainted.
If Borders is found guilty of first-degree murder he faces a sentence of life in prison without parole.