CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The jury in the capitol murder trial of Andre Hampton listened to passionate closing arguments from his attorney on Tuesday.
Defense attorney Norman Butler told jurors that when Hampton killed his 23-month-old son, he was only doing what a lifetime of abuse had taught him.
“He’s not a monster. He lost control. He doesn’t know why, but, is that murder by torture,” asked Butler.
That is what the prosecution wants the jury to believe happened to young Elijah Burger in November of 2008. Earlier, Hampton testified, and said, "I don't know what came over me."
On Tuesday, Prosecutor Bill Bunting strongly disagreed.
“How many times did he hit him with the toothbrush to rip his skin off his knuckles,” Bunting asked.
There was no dispute that Elijah was beaten from head to toe. Hampton confessed, and told the police that he didn’t cry, and that’s why he kept on hitting the child.
Defense attorney Butler reiterated that Hampton lost control.
Bunting, meanwhile, told the jury that Elijah cried out in pain.
“He objected,” the prosecutor said of the young child. “He objected until he couldn’t object anymore, and then he died.”
Deliberations began late Tuesday before the judge sent the juror home. Deliberations will continue on Wednesday.