Breaking News: Both Sides Rest in the Monica Cluck Trial - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Paragould, AR - Will Carter Reports

Breaking News: Both Sides Rest in the Monica Cluck Trial

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - As of 2:10 p.m. on the fourth day of the Monica Cluck trial both the defense and the state have rested their cases.

It is expected after a short recess that attorneys will present their closing arguments and then the trial will be in the hands of the jury as they go into deliberations.

The biggest event today was testimony from Cluck in which she laid out a lot about her life, her relationship with her husband, and how she formed relationships with two teenage boys.

When asked by the state, do you think you should be held accountable, Cluck replied, "I think I already have been, and it continues to be that way."

When asked about her job and her marriage Cluck said, "I loved my job.  I absolutely did.  It was a passion in my life.  I loved going to work everyday.  It was my stability.  It was something that I knew I could do right.  I didn't want to go home, but I did because my mom and dad would say marriage is for life and you have to work it out."

She claimed several times during the testimony that a lot of what happened was because her marriage was in shambles.

"He (Jeff) would call me names (crying)...I'm sorry.  (takes a tissue)...He would call me names.  He would compare me a lot to his mother, and he would say I couldn't clean, I couldn't cook.  I couldn't do anything right," testified Cluck.

When asked about sex with the 15 year old Cluck testified, "It was morally wrong.  I should have never done it."

However, she didn't seem to have anything wrong with what happened between her and Travis Zaleman who is now 18.  She noted several times that even his mother knew about their sexual relationship. 

"After Singing Hands was over on July 29th things progressed pretty fast with us.  His mother knew about it.  I guess they talked about it.  Then we talked about it.  I guess she just wanted me to know that she was okay with it."

In fact, the act even occured once when his mother was home.

"When Singing Hands was over, and whenI knew it was over,  I guess I ...I don't know if I needed care of if I totally lost it.  I went to Vanessa's house and Travis was there.  He had a nice speaker system in his room.  He wanted me to come listen to some songs or music.  I went back there.  He touched my face and my hair and told me how beautiful I was.  One thing let to another and we had sex that day."

She still says she regrets most of it and that none of it would have happened had it not been for her failing marriage.

She also testified about allowing kids to drink alcohol at her house saying, "Some of my older members of the group said they were going to be drinking and that they wanted to try it.  They said they were going to go do it.  So I told them I'd rather have them drink at my house, and me know they are going to be okay, than me knowing they are going to be out partying somewhere."

And there's much more testimony that jurors had to sit through as they get ready to make their final decision which could alter the future of 25 year old Monica Cluck.

At this time, I'm going back into the courtroom and will bring you the latest as it becomes available.

Will Carter, Region 8 News   wcarter@kait8.com

 

 

Powered by Frankly