Defense Rests in Vela Sentencing

The defense rested its case late Friday morning in the sentencing of Erick Vela– without presenting any evidence or calling any witnesses.

Vela has pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree murder in the killings at a Norfolk bank last September. Fellow defendant Jose Sandoval was brought from a prison in Lincoln to Madison County in case he was called to testify in Vela's defense. But Vela's attorney did not call on him to testify.

Closing arguments are set for Monday when the case will probably be turned over to the jury. A jury is hearing Vela's case to help determine if Vela merits the death penalty or life in prison.