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Family of murdered San Antonio police detective testifies in court

A jury unanimously convicted Otis McKane of capital murder in the shooting death of SAPD Det. Benjamin Marconi.

SAN ANTONIO — The fate of convicted-killer Otis McKane is now in the jury’s hands. Closing arguments were delivered Friday by the prosecution and defense.

McKane was convicted of killing Detective Benjamin Marconi in November of 2016 outside police headquarters. McKane faces either life in prison or the death penalty.

Both the defense and state rested their cases on Thursday afternoon. The anticipation for closure for Marconi’s family could be felt in the courtroom. 

Marconi's family and uniformed police officers packed the gallery.

His stepdaughter Jacy Reeves wore a mask with his badge number and the words “Marconi Strong.”

Meanwhile, a shackled McKane sat in his chair next to his legal counsel, staring and thinking. Much of the afternoon was spent cross examining the psychiatrist hired by the defense.

Dr. Jay Crowder concluded mckane had traits of being delusional and narcissistic. The state grilled Crowder for not being better prepared as far as knowledge of key evidence and testimony.

Crowder says he never knew about the choking incident involving mckane and his ex Sharia. He also confirmed to the jury he never watched the videos of McKane shooting Marconi. Crowder interviewed mckane three times since 2017 – most recently in june.

“During my interviews, he didn’t take responsibility for the killing. What he did express was that he was sorry for the sadness that resulted,” Crowder said.

Closing arguments begin tomorrow at 9 a.m., and then the jury will decide whether McKane gets life in prison or the death penalty.

Family members of murdered police Detective Benjamin Marconi took the stand Wednesday, recalling fond memories of a man who touched the lives of many, in and out of uniform.  

Jacy Reeves embraced the father-daughter relationship shared between her and Marconi.

Reeves said her father only got to meet one of his grandchildren before being killed on Nov. 20, 2016 outside Public Safety Headquarters in downtown San Antonio.

“He was so kind and gentle with children that I believe he couldn’t wait to help mold our children into the people they would become,” Reeves said. “I have always thought of myself as a strong person, but since then, it feels like I have to be stronger because he was such a strong person and I want that to stay alive and I want to be a good example for him."

Benjamin Marconi’s brother, Tom, also testified today, recalling his kind and lively spirit. Tom remembers the horror of seeing his brother in the emergency room.

“I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing that this was my brother who had just been murdered,” he said.

The defense introduced one of Otis McKane’s high school friends, Reginald Alderman. He met McKane in sophomore year at Fox Tech High School.

Alderman said he got along instantly with McKane since both loved basketball and could relate to living with single parents. He noted in his testimony that McKane saved his life when he was having domestic abuse issues at home.

“He opened his door to me and really honestly saved my life, as far as I don’t know where I would have been if I had nowhere to go,” Alderman said.

The prosecution noted Alderman spoke with McKane over the phone after the guilty verdict.

Phone recordings revealed McKane assumed the images of his car were superimposed in the photos reviewed by the NASA picture analyst.

The defense also introduced one of McKane’s former football coaches to the stand who stressed he didn’t perform academically the greatest, but was a happy respectful kid.

It’s possible the jury could deliberate whether to give McKane life in prison or the death penalty by Friday. 

On Tuesday, McKane's ex-girlfriend, Saharia Paillett-Hill, took the stand for a second day, describing a toxic relationship filled with verbal and physical abuse.

Also Wednesday, in-person jury trials have been suspended due to the rise in coronavirus cases in Bexar County. 

A document sent to KENS 5 by Bexar County Local Administrative Judge Ron Rangel, who also serves as the 379th district court judge, details the reasons behind the in-person jury suspension.

However, trials currently underway may continue through verdict. This suspension will not affect the Otis McKane trial.