Prosecution, Defense Offer Closing Arguments in Orville Fleming Trial

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It's not a matter of if he killed her, it's a matter of how and to what degree.

Orville Fleming's fate now lies in the hands of the jury who must decide if he will be convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter.

"The ultimate form of control is to control the destiny of your loved one. And that's exactly what he did," said Sacramento County Prosecutor Noah Phillips.

The prosecution argued Fleming had a need for "power and control" in his relationship with Sarah Douglas. They said the former firefighter was a professional at making "cold and calculated" decisions.

Phillips said that’s what led Fleming to "willfully" and "deliberately" murder his girlfriend.

"...Would be able to work under the pressure of someone begging for their life?  You know who. This is the work of the first responder turned wicked," Phillips said.

The defense said Fleming was provoked.  Claiming the death happened in the heat of the moment and therefore, it’s manslaughter.

"We have all been provoked to get to that particular point, and it's the acknowledgment of that particular frailty and human nature that this crime rises out of," said Fleming's Defense Attorney Peter Kmeto.

Both the prosecution and defense brought up Fleming's claim of experiencing dissociative amnesia, or forgetting the details of the violent crime.

The defense linked his "amnesia" to post traumatic stress disorder, which the prosecution didn't buy.

Peter: "What do we want to become? Do we want to become that automatic? Be that cold that we can do things that we regret having done. Having killed someone that we loved and not suffer an emotional consequence for it?" Kmeto said.

"And yes, he remembers, late at night when he is by himself, he does. It's because if he did,he knows the story he would tell you would send chills up your spine," the prosecution said.

The jury went home for the day at 4:30 p.m. The jury will continue deliberations Tuesday at 9 a.m.


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