Deliberations have begun in the trial of a Wausau man charged in a cold case murder. A jury of eight women and four men from Iowa County is weighing the evidence presented in the 10-day trial in deciding whether to convict James Emerson in the December 1999 beating and strangling death of Rhonda Mertes.
In his closing statement, defense attorney Peter Thompson said the D-N-A evidence and jailhouse informants linking Emerson to the murder are quote "utterly unreliable" and "smack of fabrication." But district attorney Jill Falstad said the evidence was properly analyzed, the witnesses were truthful and the case has proven Emerson is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It's unclear how long it'll take the jury to reach its unanimous decision.