Arno defense rests this morning, closing arguments set for Thursday
Apr 17, 2012 (The Press of Atlantic City - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
MAYS LANDING -- Craig Arno's defense rested today, with a focus on cellphone records apparently meant to back his argument that he was elsewhere when an Atlantic City visitor was abducted from a casino parking garage May 21, 2010, and killed.
Arno, 46, of Atlantic City, faces 28 charges -- and the possibility of life in prison -- in the fatal carjacking of Martin Caballero, 47, from the Trump Taj Mahal parking garage. Closing arguments will be Thursday, with the jury likely beginning deliberations Friday.
Witness testimony ended Tuesday with Sreenath Rayalla, an AT&T worker who testified about how phone calls are recorded and tracked. He talked about how cellphone towers work and what they say about where a call originated. The records of calls between Arno and Kisby made between 10 p.m. May 21, 2010, and 2 the next morning were then submitted to the jury.
During cross-examination of Kisby on Monday, public defender Eric Shenkus asked her several questions about when she and Arno talked to each other on the phone. Kisby insisted she wasn't sure about times.
When Shenkus asked her about calling about 2 a.m., she asked: "Where would we have been then?"
Kisby's deal means, in exchange for her plea and the testimony against Arno, she will get a 30-year sentence. With two years she has already served, that means Kisby, 26, will be free four months before she turns 55. Her five-year supervision will end before she is 60.
Arno denied any part of the abduction or killing, but admitted Monday that it was his idea to burn the car after he realized the GPS that tracks how to get somewhere could also help track the car's location.
He also admitted he was the man pictured in a video surveillance photo from an ATM when he took $300 out using Caballero's stolen car.
Kisby gave him the card -- and the man's personal identification number -- Arno testified.
Kisby said it was Arno who attacked Caballero after she started chatting him up inside the parking garage as a diversion. Later, she said, Arno broke his knife stabbing the victim, and they then went to her mother's home in Egg Harbor Township to retrieve another knife in Kisby's old bedroom. She said she took a backup knife from the kitchen as well because she was "paranoid" after the first knife broke.
The state presented about 30 witnesses in five days. The defense then put up Arno and Rayalla, whose testimony took about an hour.
The trial has an off day Wednesday. Closings will be Thursday, Superior Court Judge Michael Donio told the jurors before dismissing them for the day.
Most of Tuesday was spent with First Assistant Prosecutor James McClain, Shenkus and Donio discussing how the jury will be instructed on each charge. The instruction is expected to last a few hours, meaning deliberations likely won't begin until Friday.
Contact Lynda Cohen:
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