After talking with his lawyer, murder defendant opted not to take stand.

Richard D. Davis said he wanted to testify. But after talking it over with his attorney, he decided against it. 

During the fifth day of Davis’s capital murder trial, presiding Jackson County Judge Marco A. Roldan asked Davis if he understood his constitutional right to testify or not. 

“I’ve been saying from day 1 I wanted this (his story) to be heard,” Davis said. “I just want to be heard.”

Davis conveyed to Roldan that he wanted to tell his story to the jury directly. Roldan explained that there’s a process that must be followed and he wasn’t going to allow Davis to talk straight to the jury. The law says that the defense will ask Davis questions and the prosecution has the right to cross-examine him if they want, the judge said. 

Roldan sent the court into recess so Davis could talk it over with his lawyer. An hour later, Davis told Roldan that he didn’t want to testify after all. 

Davis said he wanted his defense to ask him questions he wanted asked. They wouldn’t agree to do that, so he declined to testify.

The unexpected recess early Wednesday afternoon delayed the case. Jackson County prosecutors had expected to rest their case and present closing arguments Wednesday. 

Instead, Roldan dismissed court early because he didn’t want the jury to stay late in the day hearing the closing arguments.

“It’s been a very difficult day for the jury,” the judge said.