UPDATE: Defense rests after David Damm testifies - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Defense rests after David Damm testifies


by Lauren Squires

GALENA, IL (KWWL) - UPDATE: The defense rested its case Wednesday in the David Damm murder trial, according to the Telegraph-Herald newspaper.  That came moments after Damm took the stand in his own defense.  Closing arguments are scheduled for tomorrow.

The man on trial for murder took the stand Wednesday, to convince the jurors of his innocence.  David Damm is accused of hiring Bruce Burt to kill 13-year-old Donnisha Hill, to cover up molestation charges.

Damm took the stand to counter Bruce Burt's testimony, that he paid him $2000 to kill Hill. And as expected, when David Damm testified, he was emotional.

The defense asked Damm whether helping Donnisha Hill run away in October 2006 lead to her death. It was then that tears rolled down his cheek and his voice quivered as he said quote: "I don't have the words to explain it. It hurts. She's gone. Her family suffered. But it didn't have to happen." Hill's mother left the courtroom moments later.

Damm said killing hill was quote "not even on the table."  Instead he said hill had been wanting to run away, and he was doing her a favor by getting her out of town.  Damm was very emotional this morning as he recalled Donnisha hills death.  Again denying that he planned to kidnap or kill hill.       

In cross examination the details started to get mixed up.  Damm wasn't as emotional when the prosecution asked details going back two years ago to October 11th, 2006.       

First question asked about Donnisha hill's supposed crush on David Damm.  Which Damm testified as true. But said he was *not physically attracted to her.  Prosecutors then asked him to recall very specific details of interviews and official statements Damm released following the events in October 2006.

He agreed to signing the statements on his own free will and that he lied to police several times. He said he lied about a phone call Donnisha made to him at his shop, and phone calls between Burt and Damm.  

When the prosecution accused him of lying to protect himself, he replied "I lied to protect someone else, to protect Donnisha."  Damm said hill had always wanted to run away, it was a part of daily conversation. He said he "was going to break down and help her.  It was self serving and it was helping her."

The prosecution used phone records and taped interviews to show the inconsistency in Damm's story. 

The defense is expected to continue testimony through Thursday.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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