Chapman, 45, Cumberland, has been charged with the Feb. 16, 2001, stabbing death of Gail Thompson.
Shortly after the commonwealth declared a rest, the jury was dismissed and motion hearings in the case ensued. Defense attorney W. Currie Milliken made a motion before the court to have the murder charge acquitted.
"At least 10, 11, 12 or more specific items in the case have caused reasonable doubt," Milliken began. "Any one of these is not enough, but when all items are taken together cumulatively, it causes reasonable doubt."
Henry Johnson responded by saying that ruling the matter was "certainly a jury issue," at which point Judge Ron Johnson agreed and denied the motion.
The second motion made by Milliken was to reduce the murder charge to first-degree manslaughter.
"Manslaughter means someone is acting under extreme emotional disturbance and murder means someone is acting without the disturbance," Milliken said.
Judge Johnson responded by saying the jury will have the final say in the matter.
"Looking at the nature of the murder, we're looking at a terrible scene of carnage to say the least," he said. "Had it been one blow or one stab or cut, the jurors might say that fits with manslaughter. There were many cuts...this was someone that was mad, mean-spirited, obsessed and there might have been a sexual factor in it...that was simply a mean-spirited killing, and it's up to the jury to determine the case. The motion to dismiss the murder charge is overruled."
As the day drew to a close, the defense began to call witnesses. First on the list was Sarah Chapman, mother of Earl Chapman. Chapman relayed a story of having her children grow up with Gail Thompson and the friendly exchange that existed between the Chapman family and the Thompson family.
"I knew her when she came in the world," Sarah Chapman said.
Chapman went on to tell about the night of the murder and how she had heard someone outside her home shut a car door and say,