AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story will be updated frequently throughout proceedings in the capital murder trial of Corey Trumbull. Refresh this page often for the latest.
CONTENT WARNING: This story contains graphic details from testimony given during a capital murder trial that some readers may find disturbing. Discretion is advised before reading.
WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After the prosecution and the defense rested and closed their cases in the capital murder trial of Corey Trumbull on Monday afternoon, each side is set to present their closing arguments before a jury of six men and six women begin deliberation.
Corey Allen Trumbull, 35, is charged with capital murder, murder, and tampering with physical evidence concerning the horrific death of Logan Cline, 11, whose body was found in an abandoned car in Wichita Falls in February 2020.
A recap of prior proceedings in this trial can be found by using the links below:
- Jury of six men and six women seated (Monday, August 21)
- Testimony begins, victim’s sister takes the stand (Tuesday, August 22)
- Child abuse expert takes stand on day two of testimony (Wednesday, August 23)
- First week of testimony concludes (Thursday, August 24)
- State, defense close and rest their cases in Trumbull’s trial (Monday, August 28)
The prosecution in Trumbull’s trial is led by John Gillespie, Wichita County District Attorney, and Kyle Lessor, Assistant District Attorney. Counsel for the defense is led by William Hull and assisted by Gant Grimes, both of the Wichita County Public Defender’s Office.
A running live blog of proceedings in the capital murder trial of Corey Trumbull for Tuesday, August 29, 2023, can be found below. This story will be updated frequently.
Gillespie concludes his closing arguments at 10:26 a.m., at which time the case is given to the jury to begin their deliberation. Judge McKnight dismisses the jury to begin deliberation.
10:24 a.m. — Gillespie argues that by returning a verdict of guilty on the charge of capital murder, the jury would be saying Logan Cline was not sub-human and that his life had value.
10:22 a.m. — Gillespie continues to recount the details of the case, including the abuse leading up to the death of Logan Cline, as well as the night Logan died, and how the defendant reacted. Gillespie is animated in depicting the events of which Trumbull is accused.
10:12 a.m. — Gillespie said he did not feel he had any jury members who were “wobbly” on convicting Trumbull of capital murder, but he urged the men and women of the jury to stand their ground and “fight for Logan” despite the fact that his own mother, Stormy Johnson, didn’t. “If we get a hung jury, we’ll do it all again,” Gillespie said.
10:08 a.m. — Gillespie recalls the testimony of Dr. Dakil, who said it would be possible that hiding the abuse of Logan Cline and keeping him silent could serve as a motive for Trumbull murdering Cline.
10:06 a.m. — “When life is cheap, it’s easy to take,” Gillespie says of Trumbull, recalling some of the testimony of Lexie Cline.
10:03 a.m. — Gillespie disputes the claim made by the defense that Trumbull wanted to keep his “plaything” alive, stating that the severity of the beating and the fact that neither Trumbull nor Johnson called 911 prove they didn’t want to keep him alive. “That is capital murder under our law,” Gillespie said.
10:00 a.m. — Gillespie tells the jury that he owes it to Logan Cline and his family to use the remainder of his time to go back over the evidence.
9:58 a.m. — “I’ve been doing this for 22 years. ‘He’s a sadistic murdering [expletive] but not a sadistic capital murdering [expletive]’, that’s a new one,” Gillespie says to begin his final closing arguments. “They’ve gotta work with what they’ve got, I guess.”
Grimes thanks the jury for their time and sits down. Judge McKnight instructs Gillespie that he’s used 25 minutes of his time, and the state is allowed to conclude closing arguments.
9:57 a.m. — Grimes argues to the jury that there’s not enough evidence to prove Trumbull had intent to kill Logan Cline, again referencing Lexie’s testimony, stating that never once did Lexie testify that Trumbull threatened to kill Logan Cline. He says, “The punishment has to fit the crime, but the crime has to fit the facts of the case.”
9:54 a.m. — Grimes references the testimony of Lexie Cline, saying he can’t imagine the things that she’s had to go through. He then says, “Memory is not a photocopy,” stating that human memory isn’t perfect.
9:52 a.m. — Grimes references the testimony of Dr. Stephen Hastings, who said it would be possible for Logan Cline to have died from the injuries received from Trumbull independent of the head trauma. Grimes then references the testimony of Dr. Young, calling it “weird”, but states that just because Trumbull is a horrible person doesn’t mean that some of what he said wasn’t true.
9:49 a.m. — “I want to do what you all want to do, but it can’t be done,” Grimes argues to the jury, saying there was no intent by Trumbull to kill Logan Cline. “He did not intend to kill his play-thing,” Grimes said, “I hate to think what he’d be doing to Logan if he was still alive.”
9:47 a.m. — Grimes speaks to the jury from the perspective of Trumbull, claiming if he wanted to kill Logan Cline, he could’ve done so at any time. Gillespie objects to Grimes testifying as the defendant, and Judge McKnight instructs Grimes to move on. Grimes then tells the jury not to convict Trumbull of capital murder, then attests that he is a sick [expletive] and a murderer, but he didn’t intend to kill Logan Cline, because he enjoyed torturing him and wanted to keep him alive to keep doing so, alluding to the jury convicting Trumbull of felony murder.
Gant Grimes, a defense attorney with the Public Defender’s Office who has assisted with the defense counsel in this trial, then brings closing remarks on behalf of the defense.
9:41 a.m. — Gillespie recalls the testimony of key witnesses for the prosecution, including Dr. Stephen Hastings, who performed the autopsy on Logan Cline, as well as Dr. Suzanne Dakil, a child abuse expert. He asks the jury to convict Trumbull of capital murder, then steps down.
9:40 a.m. — Several members of Logan Cline’s family are observed in the packed 78th District Court on Tuesday morning, including his older sister, Lexie Cline, who testified on the first day of proceedings, and his father, Nicholas Cline, who was serving in the armed forces overseas at the time of Logan’s death.
9:38 a.m. — Gillespie then attacks the testimony of the defense’s sole witness, Dr. Thomas Young. He says Dr. Young didn’t ask for all the eyewitness statements, he doesn’t ask for them as standard practice, and that he only listened to the one statement where Trumbull gives a natural cause of death when explaining Logan’s death.
9:35 a.m. — Gillespie explains to the jury “but for cause,” and that if it weren’t for Trumbull and the abuse and torture he inflicted upon Logan Cline, he would clearly still be alive, and that it was obvious that the child needed emergency care, and they failed to provide that to him.
9:31 a.m. — Gillespie tells the jury that both Trumbull and his co-defendant, Stormy Johnson, are actors in the case of Logan Cline’s death, but he says it’s his belief that Trumbull was the primary actor in his abuse, torture, and death.
9:27 a.m. — Gillespie tells the jury about how Logan’s psyche broke from the treatment he received from Trumbull, including when he was forced to sleep under a sink or in a dog crate, all while laughing and watching. Gillespie again brings up the cat and mouse metaphor, saying the mouse always dies at the end. “I suggest his death warrant was signed when Stormy moved them to Chillicothe,” Gillespie said.
9:24 a.m. — Gillespie tells the jury that Logan and Lexie Cline were happy and healthy kids enrolled in school until Trumbull came into the picture. Gillespie tells the jury that this was a way for Trumbull to exercise control over the children and isolate them. Gillespie then discusses how starving Logan was also a way he controlled him. “If you listen with the ears of your heart, you can probably hear Logan’s stomach growling from Chillicothe,” Gillespie said to the jury. During this time, he continues to look Trumbull directly in the eye and point at him.
9:22 a.m. — Gillespie compares the abuse and torture of Logan Cline at the hands of Trumbull to that of a game of cat and mouse. Gillespie asserts to the jury that Trumbull was exerting power over Logan and Lexie, referring to the “sick game” of forcing the children to call him “dad” and “father”.
9:20 a.m. — Gillespie tells the jury that their most important job is convicting Trumbull of capital murder for the death of Logan Cline while pointing directly at Trumbull’s face and staring directly into his eyes. He remarks that much of the evidence they’ve seen will likely haunt them for some time following the conclusion of this trial.
Judge McKnight instructs Gillespie he may give his closing remarks at this time.
9:15 a.m. — Judge Jeff McKnight reads the jury their charge, explaining to them what they are tasked with accomplishing during their deliberation and distinguishing the differences between the capital murder charge and the lesser included felony murder charge.
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available. All individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.