NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A prosecution that spanned 11 weeks will soon come to a conclusion as closing arguments began Wednesday at the U.S. trial of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Goldbarg began her closing argument by describing the brutal murders of two men who had been badly beat by Guzman’s associates before El Chapo shot them both in the head. He then ordered their bodies to be burned in a bonfire.
The prosecutor also told the jury that testimony by 14 cooperators, wiretaps and other evidence showed Guzman used corruption and violence to control his drug-trafficking empire. She said there is overwhelming proof that El Chapo funneled tons of cocaine into the United States.
Over the course of the 11 week trial, members of the jury heard about drug dealing, murder and multiple prison escapes.
Guzman is accused of running a multimillion dollar cartel. Though, his lawyers claim it was someone else who had been calling the shots.
CBS news legal analyst Rikki Klieman suspects the defense closing will focus on cooperating witnesses.
“They have to explain why none of them should be believed,” she told WCBS 880.
The defense rested its case on Tuesday after just 30 minutes. Lawyers called just one witness and entered only one document into evidence. Their closing arguments will come Thursday.
Guzman faces life in prison if convicted of drug and murder conspiracy charges.