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Final arguments in 'Black Widows' case

April 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Closing arguments were underway Thursday in the trial of two women accused of running over and killing two homeless men to collect millions of dollars in life insurance payouts. The case could go to a jury tomorrow.

Helen Golay and Olga Rutterschmidt, both in their 70s, face multiple felony counts, murder, conspiracy to commit murder and murder for financial gain.

The jury on Thursday heard a detailed three-hour summation of the prosecution's case.

Deputy District Attorney Truc Do laid out for the jury evidence of a murder plan that was hatched years before it was carried out.

There were 21 life insurance policies taken out on strangers, two homeless men -- $829,500 on Paul Vados and $5,790,000 on Kenneth McDavid.

The victims were worth more dead than alive, the prosecutor said.

The prosecutor reviewed graphic autopsy photos of McDavid after he was struck. Investigators found blood, hair and DNA on the undercarriage of the car found months after the collision.

McDavid's sister Sandra Salman watched the trial every day for the past month.

"My occupation, I'm a registered nurse, I save lives for a living, and I just can't imagine. There's just no connection with me with them at all. I just can't imagine what they're thinking," said Salman said.

The daughter of victim Paul Vados shared photos to show a man who was once very close to his family.

"Hopefully, the jury will come up with a good decision, the right decision, on my father's behalf," Stella Vados said.

Allred aided the Vados family in locating his remains. The defendants had claimed his body and buried him in a marked grave site.

"This is a very difficult case, very painful case for the victims' families," said attorney Gloria Allred.

The family of Kenneth McDavid still does not know where his body was placed.

"We think he was cremated, but we don't know where those remains are," Allred said.

The defense presents its summation Friday, and the jury may not deliberate until next week.

 

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