In dramatic testimony Thursday, Larry Lund, the former Inverness bail bondsman accused of conspiring to kill his ex-lover, denied ever plotting to do her harm.
Lund had sat by in obvious frustration the previous two days as one prosecution witness after another painted an unappealing picture of him as a man with a long history of mentally and physically abusing the women in his life. It was his loss of control over his ex-girlfriend, Robin Abrahamson, that allegedly led to the conspiracy to have her murdered, prosecutors said.
But Lund got the opportunity to mount a personal defense, wrapping up the third and last day of testimony and turning often to the seven-member jury in the process.
Paul Hawkes, his defense attorney, asked him if he ever intended to murder Abrahamson.
"No, not at all," Lund said. "I wouldn't do that."
Hawkes and prosecutors from the State Attorney's Office made their closing statements shortly after Lund walked toward the defense table to be shackled once again at the ankles.
If the prosecution is successful, he would face a maximum 30-year sentence on the charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. He also is charged with battery, false imprisonment and filing a false car theft report.
On a day when Hawkes presented his supporting witnesses, the prosecution picked up on established themes in making its final argument before the jurors: that Lund is a control freak who watched Abrahamson escape months of abuse, someone driven by mean-spirited insecurity to enlist a stranger, Ben Frisbie, in a failed attempt to kill her.
Assistant State Attorney Paul Norville emphasized the threatening nature of several vitriolic phone calls _ secretly recorded on the advice of Citrus County Sheriff's Office Detective Jackie Howerton _ between Lund and Abrahamson. In one of the many curse-filled segments, Lund is heard telling her, "A bullet to your mouth, a bullet to your ear. You're dead. I promise."
Said Norville, "How can anyone believe, after listening to that tape, that Larry Lund was not going to kill Robin Abrahamson?"
Norville said phone records show that on Feb. 16, Lund was headed to Abrahamson's home.
Lund had told authorities that he was in Inglis at the time, when in fact records show he was somewhere east of Inverness.
"My emotions had got the best of me," Lund said, testifying that he later apologized to Abrahamson during a stay the two shared at a Days Inn motel near her home in Kissimmee. "I'm sorry."
Jury deliberations will begin today.