Plaintiffs in Branch Davidian trial to wrap up case this week

Yahoo! News, June 26, 2000

WACO, Texas (AP) _ As flames raced through the Branch Davidians' wooden complex on the final day of the sect's 51-day standoff with the government, nine people found escape routes out of the fire and survived.

Sect member Marjorie Thomas jumped from a window in the rickety building to safety. She lived, but suffered third-degree burns over half of her body on April 19, 1993. Some 80 others died.

Thomas, who was 30 at the time of siege, is expected to testify as early as Monday when the multimillion trial that pits Branch Davidian survivors and family members against the government resumes.

Plaintiffs' lead counsel Michael Caddell said he expects to finish presenting his case for roughly 50 estates by midweek.

``We've got a lot of cleaning up to do,'' Caddell said Sunday. ``We've put in a lot of very strong evidence for us. We'll be reinforcing some of those points.''

U.S. District Judge Walter Smith on Friday imposed a 40-hour time limit on both the plaintiffs' and the government's lawyers. The judge noted that Caddell already had logged more than half the plaintiffs' time.

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