Cooke County assistant district attorney Martin Peterson began his closing argument in the 235th District Court drug possession trial of Patrice Murphy Wednesday using Murphy’s own words — spoken on the witness stand — against her.

Peterson said while she testified, Murphy said “I am not contesting the fact that I am guilty of these offenses.”

He said Murphy admitted to being a “mule” when she and her companion, Tarita James, allegedly tried to transport approximately 450 pounds of cocaine and 50 pounds of amphetamine from Dallas to Chicago.

“There are no real surprises here,” he told the jury. “You already knew it.”

He pointed to several facts he said prove Murphy knew exactly what she doing as she drove the Jeep Cherokee packed with contraband headed for Chicago.

First, he said the trip from Dallas to Chicago was a drug run.

Second, the women were in a rental vehicle — presumably the preferred method of drug traffickers for transporting drugs across the country.

Third, the women possessed over $6,000 cash.

Peterson said the evidence showed “far more” than that Murphy was present where the drugs were.

“Everywhere Patrice Murphy went, the drugs were sure to go,” he said.

He pointed out that “thanks to the Cooke County Sheriff’s department, these drugs didn’t make it to their destination.”

Twice, Peterson picked up a small, transparent package of cocaine and held it up for the jury to see, remarking on how large the shipment of drugs was in this case and on how many other such packets were inside the Jeep that morning.

Murphy’s defense attorney, Mark Davis, sporting a tie with a likeness of an American eagle, began his closing argument saying, “She’s guilty, but of what?”

Davis at times grew emotional as spoke about Murphy’s role in the incident.

He said the state could have charged Murphy with lesser crimes — conspiracy, for instance. Instead, he argued, the state choose to charge Murphy “with the entire operation.”

Davis said the drugs in the Jeep had a street value of close to $15 million.

Then, sitting down on the witness stand, he leaned forward and began telling the jury a story he said his grandmother used to tell him about two little boys who played hooky, ate their mother’s cherry pies, and blamed their misdeeds on the family cat.

The mother then threw the unfortunate cat out the window. The state, he suggested, was trying to make Murphy pay for the crimes of people far more powerful than she was.

He told the jury Murphy was very young in 1998 (she was 23), and several times referred to the now—32-year-old Murphy as a “kid” at the time of her arrest.

Davis attempted to argue that the state was trying to make Murphy responsible for the misdeeds of “the entire organization.”

Peterson objected to these statements and others by Davis.

Peterson said the state had made no argument stating that Murphy was solely responsible for the drugs and Davis’ statements were “not a proper argument.”

Judge Jerry Woodlock sustained several such objections during Davis’ presentation.

As he fought for his client, Davis insisted the state did not prove its case beyond a responsible doubt.

“Not guilty, doesn’t mean innocent,” he said. “Acquittal doesn’t mean innocence, just that the state did not meet its burden of proof.”

He hinted that James had been more in control of the situation than Murphy since the Jeep had been rented in her name, and she gave the consent to search during the traffic stop.

Why, he asked the jury, would James give her consent to have the SUV searched if she had known the actual street dollar value of the drugs?

Davis also argued that neither Murphy nor James knew the dollar value of the cargo they were carrying, and that the women could have simply denied permission for a search and left the scene that morning.

He also said the drugs might have actually belonged to a man named Jose Choppa.

Choppa’s name, he asserted, was found on some labels that had been affixed to the packages of drugs some time during the testing process.

He also said his client cooperated with authorities, giving them Choppa’s address.

Finally, he summarized his arguments saying Murphy’s “mere presence (where the drugs were found) is not sufficient evidence to convict her.”

Cooke County District Attorney Cindy Stormer scoffed at many of Davis’ arguments, including the one about the women refusing the search and going on their way after the traffic stop.

Stormer argued that the women probably already knew the officers could detain them until a search warrant for the vehicle was secured.

As far as Murphy cooperating with investigators, Stormer also disputed that assertion, saying Murphy’s assistance with the case “wasn’t enough and wasn’t timely enough.”

She said when Murphy finally provided Choppa’s address, Choppa’s house was vacant.

“She knew what to do,” Stormer said, insisting that Murphy withheld Choppa’s address for some time so the man would have the opportunity to clear out his house and get away.

She said Murphy was “no amateur” and that she was clearly a trusted member of some type of drug organization. She cited the large amount of drugs found in the seizure as evidence of this fact.

Stormer said the jury could show its support for law enforcement and do something about crime in this county by convicting Murphy.

She said Murphy’s case is “as good a possession case as you’re ever gonna see.”

Apparently, the jury agreed with Stormer. They found Murphy guilty of the offense of drug possession after only a couple of hours of deliberation Thursday afternoon.

Murphy is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday.