Stangeland to finish his testimony Tuesday

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New Jersey Herald

SUPERIOR COURT, N.J. -- Arguments in the kidnapping trial of Douglas Stangeland are expected to end this week, with the jury anticipated to get the case on Wednesday.

Before the jury deliberates, Stangeland will return to the stand Tuesday to finish giving his testimony.

Stangeland, 51, of Nevada, testified for about six hours on Thursday with the day ending when Sussex County First Assistant Prosecutor Gregory Mueller finished his cross-examination of Stangeland.

Defense attorney Martin Morrison will continue with his redirect examination of Stangeland, followed by Mueller with a recross-examination.

While on the witness stand Thursday, Stangeland said he never wanted anybody to get hurt and that he wouldn't have let co-defendant William "Billy" Barger get his hands on the victim, Newton business owner Jeffrey Muller.

Anticipated to testify after Stangeland on Tuesday is his son Derek Stangeland.

Morrison said on Thursday that following Derek Stangeland's testimony, the defense would rest and be ready to proceed to closing arguments.

Mueller, on Friday, said that before the jury deliberates, the two sides would discuss "ancillary legal issues," but would not elaborate.

The trial, going into its sixth week of testimony, is now in its third month.

Jury selection began on Feb. 24, and was originally anticipated to be concluded by the end of April.

Opening statements were held on April 1, with testimony beginning April 2. Tuesday will be day 13 of testimony.

The trial was delayed last week after Stangeland was unable to take the stand due to being admitted to the hospital for an unknown "health emergency."

Stangeland is charged with several offenses in connection with the kidnapping, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and robbery.

If convicted, he faces up to life in prison with 30 years of parole ineligibility.

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