Jury Begins Deliberations in Fayetteville Teen's Murder Trial
Posted July 21, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — The jury considering the fate of Shanon Tyson resumes deliberations Friday, after spending a little more than an hour Thursday considering whether Tyson was guilty of ordering classmate Chris Eggleston's murder.
The jury received the case at 4:30 p.m. and deliberated until 6 p.m., when they were sent home for the day.
During closing arguments, prosecutors said Tyson ordered Eggleston's June 1997 murder. The state told jurors that this murder case is a parent's and student's worst nightmare -- a student goes off to school and never comes home. The defense said the nightmare has been for Tyson, who had nothing to do with Eggleston's murder.
Closing arguments began around 9:50 a.m. The defense began by telling jurors it is the state's job to prove Tyson is guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt.
Defense attorney Coy Brewer detailed for the jury where he believes reasonable doubt exists.
Brewer spent the morning going through the testimony of each of the state's witnesses, poking holes in their statements and pointing out conflicts.
Brewer compared the state's case to the old TV commercial where Clara Peller asked "Where's the Beef?" He told jurors there is no beef to the state's case, "just a fluffy bun."
Brewer told jurors that there was never any evidence of an agreement between Tyson and Mike Myers, who has already pleaded guilty in the case, to kill Eggleston because he betrayed their group.
Brewer says Myers took a conversation between friends about tying Eggleston up and teaching him a lesson out of context.
"It was just talk. What none of those people knew is that one member of the group was actually a profoundly, psychotically, disturbed, violent, dangerous man," Brewer said.
The defense reiterated its belief that Myers killed Eggleston by himself with no help from Tyson.
In the state's closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Cal Colyer agreed that Myers was dangerous and psychologically unstable. He told the jury that Tyson took advantage of that.
After the murders, Myers called members of the group with a message to tell Tyson "it was done" -- a message that did not need explanation.
Colyer says Myers, acting like a soldier, was following Tyson's order to kill and reporting back.
"There's one word that typifies Shanon Tyson and her involvement in this case ... manipulation," Colyer said. "Shanon Tyson manipulated Matthew Myers."
Tyson walked out of the courthouse on her own Thursday, but if she is found guilty of murder, she will spend the rest of her life in prison.
The jury will resume its deliberations at 9:30 a.m. Friday.