Testimony in the Racxon Cruze McDowell murder trial is set to continue Tuesday morning in Evansville.
McDowell, 32, is standing trial on charges of Murder, Obstruction of Justice (Class D Felony), and False Informing (Class A Misdemeanor) in connection to the death of his girlfriend, 24-year-old Rachel Lomax.
Lomax was found dead in her apartment on Mt. Vernon Avenue last June. An autopsy, according to the coroner's report, showed Lomax died of blunt force trauma to her abdomen that led to a laceration of her liver. That laceration, according to the report, caused her to bleed out from the inside.
In an affidavit, an Evansville Police Detective says McDowell told authorities he and Lomax got into a physical confrontation in the apartment before going to sleep around 5am. McDowell went on to say he found Lomax "unresponsive" at 9:50am.
According to the affidavit, the investigation showed a 911 call was not made until more than 30 minutes later, at 10:22am. Police say McDowell called Rachel's father, who was the first person to call 911.
The affidavit also explains that McDowell told authorities he "slammed" Rachel Lomax's head into a door and punched her.
"The defendant confessed that his actions were excessive and that he caused the victim's death," the affidavit reads.
In court Monday, jury selection took several hours. Around 12:30pm a jury of 12, plus two alternates, was seated.
After a lunch break, both the State and the defense presented their opening statements. During their opening statement, the defense told the jury, "You're going to convict this man (McDowell). You're going to find him guilty. He killed her, but he didn't intend to kill" her.
Intent is an important aspect of a murder charge. The State's burden in this case is to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that McDowell murdered Lomax, meaning he knowingly or intentionally killed her.
In court, the defense described the situation as two people who loved each other, had too much to drink, and got into an altercation. They said McDowell was afraid and hesitant to bring law enforcement into the situation and that he lied, which made the situation worse.
The defense says Racxon McDowell will testify on his behalf later this week. They say they are asking the jury to find McDowell guilty of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, not murder.
Before court let out for the day around 3:30pm, the State questioned two witnesses, an Evansville Police Sgt. who responded to Lomax's apartment on June 3, 2012, and an EPD Crime Scene Detective.
That detective testified that he took numerous pictures of the apartment, Racxon McDowell, and of Rachel Lomax's body. He told the jury he photographed Lomax's face and neck, which had areas of discoloration.
He also told the jury there were stains on a wash cloth, on the apartment's toilet and on a door, that appeared to be blood. The detective testified that McDowell appeared to have some scratches on him.
The trial is expected to resume at 8:30 Tuesday morning and continue the remainder of the week.
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