YAKIMA, Wash. — A Yakima County jury began deliberating Friday the fate of one of two suspects in the 1997 murder of Carolyn Clift.
Michael O. Gorski, 62, is charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Clift, 56, who was found stabbed to death in her Selah apartment on the night of Aug. 28, 1997.
In closing arguments Friday, veteran prosecutor Patti Powers urged the jury to return a guilty verdict, noting Gorski’s own testimony that he lied about being in Clift’s apartment the night she died and DNA evidence that proved he was there.
Gorski’s lawyer, John Crowley, countered that the state’s case was based on “flimsy” evidence and that his client was charged solely because he lied about his encounter with Clift the night she was killed.
“Not coming clean was Mike’s biggest mistake in this whole case, ladies and gentlemen,” he said.
The jury got the case at noon but had not reached a verdict before adjourning at the end of the day Friday.
Gorski’s co-defendant, Frank Brugnone, was tried at the same time, but his fate is up to trial Judge Ruth Reukauf. More testimony in Brugnone’s case is expected Monday.