Case will go to jury in murder of Georgetown law student

It was an alleged love triangle that police say led to the murder of a Georgetown law student 18 months ago.  The victim's best friend, Rahul Gupta, is on trial for the murder. 

Closing arguments wrapped up Friday and the jury will begin deliberating on Monday morning.

Gupta initially confessed to the crime but his defense now says Gupta was covering for the real killer, his girlfriend.  The prosecution told jurors that was impossible.

It started with a night of partying at a restaurant and bars in D.C. for Gupta's birthday.  It ended with his friend Mark Waugh dead inside the high rise Silver Spring apartment Gupta shared with his girlfriend.

Waugh had been stabbed in the back, neck and chest in what's described as a bloodbath. Gupta told police his "girl and buddy were cheating… and I killed him." Photos showed him soaked in blood.

During closing arguments assistant state's attorney Timothy Hagan told the jury "Police ask him what happens. What he confesses to is first degree murder… He's caught." There was also a recorded phone call from jail that Gupta made to his father after his arrest saying, "Mark and I got into a fight and he tried to get the knife."

Gupta claims his girlfriend, who was so drunk she blacked out, killed Waugh in a drunken crazy rage.  She had blood on her and changed clothes.  "He knows that telling you the truth means admitting to first degree murder… Don't reward him for taking the opportunity to point the finger at someone else and ruining their life," argued Hagan.

The defense stuck to its allegation against the girlfriend. "She's got blood all over her hands. She's got blood all over her legs. She's got blood all over her feet," said defense attorney Phil Armstrong.  A contact lens that matched the girlfriend's prescription was also found on the victim's jeans.

The defense claims police overlooked evidence that pointed to her: long blonde hairs clutched in the victim's hand, around the knife used as the murder weapon and in blood on the wall.  Armstrong also showed what he claims to be a knife impression on her dress. "Is it credible to believe her testimony that she was in a total blackout and remembers nothing?" he asked.

Gupta took the stand during the trial in his own defense. In in testimony today Gupta claims he went to the aid of Waugh and was trying to stop the bleeding.  In a 911 call placed by the girlfriend, he is heard in the background saying "Come on Mark."

The defense explained the confession as a bad decision.  "I don't defend the fact Rahul handled this stupid or badly. He's a kid… he made mistakes," said Armstrong.

The girlfriend has not been charged in the crime. She testified during the trial that she was drunk and doesn't remember anything but said she had no reason to hurt anyone.

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