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Testimony from Isaiah Hagan's mom highlights emotional day in court

Donna Hagan walked through the Warrick County courthouse with a determined pace, which matched her delivery on the witness stand, Friday.

Her son, Isaiah Hagan stands trial for murder, and Donna revealed new details on his role in the alleged killing of Halee Rathgeber.

Donna testified about a conversation she had with Isaiah while he was in custody at the Warrick County Sheriff’s Office. Donna told the jury, Isaiah admitted to shooting Rathgeber, but said it was an accident.

Hagan's attorney, Mark Phillips tried repeatedly to object to certain questioning. Ultimately, Donna's answers took Phillips by surprise.

“You prepare based on what you believe the testimony to be, and when somebody says something that's really out of left field and inconsistent with everything else that's ever been said, I just need time to digest it and prepare my cross-examination,” Phillips said after court went into recess Friday.

There were moments of high drama early in the morning. There was a shouting match between Phillips and Judge Greg Granger, where the Judge threatened to hold Phillips in contempt of court.

“I probably get emotional more than maybe others, but let's not forget why we're here,” Phillips explained. “We have a 21 year-old young man whose charged with an offense that, if convicted, can lead him to spend the rest of his life in prison.”

Another witness testified, placing the cell phones of Hagan and Rathgeber at the Alcoa soccer fields together, at the crime scene. The witness testified only Hagan's phone left the area, but later, Rathgeber's phone left. He couldn’t fill in the gaps or explain why.

Prosecutor Mike Perry left the courthouse before Eyewitness News could ask questions.

Court will resume Monday morning with Donna Hagan on the stand.

 

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(This story was originally published June 8, 2018)


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