Jury: Logan guilty in sex abuse case
by Rachel Davis
Feb 22, 2014 | 3205 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The jury in the trial of Michael Odell Logan, 34, of Dora, returned a guilty verdict on all seven counts of the indictment.

Logan was convicted on two counts of first-degree rape by forcible compulsion, three counts of first-degree sodomy, one count of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 and one count of enticing a minor for immoral purposes.

The first five counts are Class A felonies, which carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years each because it involves a sex offense on a child and a maximum sentence of life in prison. The last two charges are Class B and Class C felonies, respectively. The Class B felony carries a penalty of 10 to 20 years (again the minimum is increased because of the offense) and the Class C felony carries a sentence of one to 10 years. A sentencing date has not been set as of press time.

Logan and his lawyer listened from the defense table as the verdicts were read by the jury foreman. He was then handcuffed and led away to the Walker County Jail.

Before beginning deliberations, the jury heard the closing arguments from the prosecution and the defense in the case.

Assistant District Attorney Alana Sewell began the closing statements, saying she knew it had been a long hard week for everyone in the courtroom, but appealed to them to think about how hard it was for the victim every day.

“The path she walks, that road, is a long one, and it isn’t over after this week,” Sewell said.

She talked about the things the young girl described, calling them “brutal, horrific and unspeakable.”

She also called attention to the level of detail in the allegations, saying, “Those details a child doesn’t just know.”

She asked the jury to imagine what the victim felt and thought during each of the assaults and then asked that they hold him responsible for the actions he committed.

“Hold Michael Logan accountable for the nightmare she doesn’t get to walk away from,” Sewell said, pointing to the victim, sitting at the prosecution’s table.

Defense attorney Belinda Weldon spoke to the jury next, saying the police had blinders on and never looked for physical evidence because they believed the little girl.

She also said the girl had been coached and showed no physical signs of the abuse that had been alleged.

“These are horrible allegations, but that’s all they are,” Weldon said.

She also attacked the prosecution’s claims that the victim’s school records were not indicators of abuse, but of the fact that she was not a good student, pointing out the misspelling of “privates” and asking how to spell “gooey” during the forensic interview where she was asked about the abuse.

Assistant District Attorney Eric Hamilton had the final word on Friday before the jury began deliberations. He spoke about nightmares and how the victim now had to live a “perpetual nightmare” because of Logan’s “unnatural affection for children.”

“He robbed her of her innocence. He robbed her of her purity,” Hamilton said.

He called Weldon’s claims “smoke and mirrors” and said she was trying to distract the jury from the facts.

He also focused on the drawings and writings from the forensic interview, repeating over and over the phrase the victim wrote, “Can you help me?” As he repeated the phrase, at least one member of the jury appeared moved to tears.

He also asked the jury to “give her back a little bit of peace and dignity.”