Megan Price was pregnant with Quenton King's daughter when she was killed, shortly after having sex with the North Little Rock restaurateur or one of his close male relatives, Pulaski County jurors heard Wednesday as prosecutors rested their capital-murder case after two days of testimony and 17 witnesses.
But the seven women and five men of the jury will likely not hear from the Chicken King operator himself. He told Circuit Judge Herb Wright at the close of Wednesday's proceedings that he did not plan to testify today, and his lawyer said King will present no witnesses.
Closing arguments are to begin at 9 a.m. Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for the 38-year-old married father of two, although jurors will be allowed to consider lesser counts of first-degree murder and second-degree murder.
Accused of killing his longtime mistress and her unborn baby, King will face jurors today on only one count of capital murder, representing Price's June 2015 slaying. Wright threw out the second capital-murder count, representing the dead baby, for insufficient evidence, siding with the arguments of defense attorney Ron Davis.
Davis told the judge that the failure of the state medical examiner's office to autopsy the fetus, when taken into consideration with the testimony by forensic pathologist Adam Craig, meant that prosecution could not prove that the baby was alive when Price was killed.
The 36-year-old woman was killed by three gunshots to the head, two fired into her face and one point-blank into the top of her head. She was found naked in her bedroom, two days after she was last seen alive.
Craig, who conducted the Price autopsy, had told jurors that he could not say conclusively what killed the fetus but that his visual inspection of the child's remains found no other obvious cause of death besides the mother's slaying.
He said the body showed no indication the baby would have been stillborn but there was a remote possibility that the fetus could have died shortly before Price was killed. The 36-year-old North Little Rock woman was found shot dead in her bedroom about five weeks before the baby was due. The mother of two daughters had planned to name her third girl Keela.
Deputy prosecutor Jeanna Sherrill contended that Craig's findings, combined with the proof of Price's death by gunfire, presented sufficient circumstantial evidence that the fetus had been killed with the mother.
Prosecutors concluded their case with testimony from state Crime Laboratory examiners who found evidence that Price had intercourse at most three days before her body was found. DNA could not conclusively show who had sex with her beyond that person was related to King through his father.
Also testifying Wednesday was David Kincade, the 43-year-old Little Rock man who said King not only admitted to fatally shooting Price but also told him how he'd arranged for her to be alone and why he'd done -- to keep King's wife from finding out Price was having his baby.
Kincade, who said he had mentored King in the chicken-wing business and also introduced the defendant to the woman King married, told jurors that he was attending a family barbecue with the defendant in their native Eudora on the same day Price's body was found.
King's demeanor changed dramatically when he learned that police had called looking to question him about the killing, Kincade told jurors.
The defendant instantly changed from "the normal Quenton, the laughing giggling guy" whom Kincade said he'd known since childhood.
"It was like he was paranoid, like something was eating at him," Kincade told jurors, describing how King next told him about what he'd done to Price. "He told me that he killed her."
King and his wife co-own the restaurants in Little Rock and North Little Rock. King knew his wife would leave him and get everything in a divorce, Kincade testified.
King told him he had four children outside his marriage, Kincade said. The only time King showed remorse was when Kincade pressed him to think about how he'd killed his own child and why, he told jurors.
"He said he was sorry but he was out of options," Kincade testified.
Kincade, portrayed by the defense as being unreliable, spent almost two hours on the witness stand, with his testimony also being notable for how often he argued with Davis, King's attorney.
Kincade's repeated refusal, or inability, to give Davis a straight answer led to the judge admonishing Kincade mildly twice before the jury.
But Kincade's repeated clashes with Davis led Wright to send jurors out of the courtroom so he could directly rebuke Kincade for his argumentative demeanor. Kincade and prosecutors complained that Davis' questioning had been misleading jurors and distorting the evidence, an accusation the judge said was no reason for Kincade's behavior.
Other evidence presented to jurors included a cellphone recording made by Kincade of King telling North Little Rock police Sgt. Clint O'Kelley that he and Price had been seeing each other for the past 14 years. King told the investigator on the recording that he did not know whether Price's baby was his but it could be.
Jurors were also presented with Price's cellphone records, which showed that on the last day she was known to be alive, her phone had received a call at 10:22 p.m.
Price's phone, which is still missing, never connected to the cell network again, meaning the phone was either turned off or located outside the range of any phone towers, which can reach 2 to 10 miles, according to testimony.
Metro on 10/19/2017
Print Headline: Mistress killing's witness run ends; Defense says it won’t call any