Prosecution rests case in Jaylin Brazier murder trial, closing arguments next

Posted at 6:01 PM, May 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-16 05:53:33-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The prosecution rested its case on Wednesday in the murder trial of Jaylin Brazier. The defense won't call any witnesses.

Brazier is accused of killing his step cousin Zion Foster in January 2022.

Closing arguments are set to begin Thursday morning.

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A total of 32 witnesses testified in the case. Brazier will not be among them. Instead, he's maintaining his right to remain silent.

The final witness to take the stand was the detective in charge of the case.

Detroit Police Department Detective Catherine Guillaumin read internet searches extracted from Brazier's cellphone. They're items she said he searched on Jan. 7, 2022. That's three days after Zion's disappearance.

Some of the searches included:

  • "Are trash trucks also compactors?"
  • "How do the police track your phone?"
  • "How do the police track missing people's phones?"

What exactly happened in Brazier's home the night of Jan. 4, 2022 is what investigators have tried to get to the bottom of. Brazier reportedly had a scratch on his neck to which he blamed on his cat.

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Guillaumin described a couple of the pornographic videos found on his phone as "rape-type" videos portrayed by actors.

"It appears while she's unconscious, sexual intercourse is happening and she's not awake. At some point, she does wake up and she's trying to tell him to stop," the detective described one of the porn videos.

She also described comics that investigators found in Brazier's possession.

Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Elsey asked her, "Is there a theme to these comic books?"

The detective replied, "Rape."

Elsey said, "Are these pornographic in nature?"

"Yes," Guillaumin said.

During cross-examination, the defense clarified the videos weren't real.

Brian Brown, Brazier's attorney asked, "It would be fair to say that at some point in all these videos there was, it was obviously consensual sex because it was acting, correct? You would agree to that right?"

The detective replied, "It appeared to be, uh.. portraying that."

It came out in court that Katrina Smith, Brazier's ex-fiance, had been hesitant to testify during the trial. She testified that she felt blackmailed to testify.

The defense asked Guillamin why she called Child Protective Service on Smith after overhearing Smith physically discipline her children during a recorded jail phone call with Brazier.

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Prison phone calls, more interrogation tapes highlight day 4 of Jaylin Brazier murder trial

The defense said the detective didn't take threats against Smith's life seriously.

Brown asked Guillaumin, "Isn't it your duty to investigate?

She replied, "For something like that?"

Brown said, "For a death threat! Isn't that your duty to investigate if you have information that somebody's life is being threatened, isn't your duty to investigate?"

The detective said, "Yes."

Brown said, "And you failed to investigate in this particular incidence when you knew there were threats on ms. Smith's life, correct?"

Guillaumin replied, "Yes."

Closing arguments are set to begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.