SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) -- A jury is considering the case of Jesse James Hollywood, who is accused of kidnapping a teenager over a drug debt and then ordering his death in a case that inspired the 2007 movie "Alpha Dog."
The jurors began deliberating Wednesday after hearing more than a month of testimony about the August 2000 killing. They were expected to continue Thursday.
Hollywood faces the death penalty if convicted of kidnapping 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz because the boy's half-brother owed him money for marijuana. Hollywood has acknowledged taking the boy but denied having any role in the teen's death.
On Tuesday parents of the slain boy wept as photographs of his decomposed, duct-taped body were shown by the prosecution during closing arguments.
"Justice has waited nine years," prosecutor Joshua Lynn told the jurors. "The time has come."
Defense attorney Alex Kessel said Lynn was trying to manipulate the jury's emotions with the autopsy photos.
"You can't fill the void in the prosecution's case with pictures of Nick Markowitz in the grave," Kessel said.
Hollywood, 29, testified last week that he took Markowitz from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles on the spur of the moment because of a dispute with the teen's half brother, Ben Markowitz. Hollywood testified that he was afraid after Ben Markowitz left threatening messages, poisoned his dog and broke a window at his home hours before the abduction.
Prosecutors contend the kidnapping was aimed at getting Ben Markowitz to pay a drug debt variously put at $1,200 and $2,500.
In his closing argument, Kessel told jurors that Hollywood had $25,000 in the bank and had no reason to kill over such a small debt.
The boy was driven to Santa Barbara, where he spent a couple of days drinking, smoking marijuana and playing video games with his abductors.
The prosecution contends that Hollywood then ordered the boy's death because an attorney had informed him that he could face a life sentence for kidnapping. Hollywood testified that the gunman, Ryan Hoyt, acted on his own.
Hollywood said he thought that Markowitz was being driven home when Hoyt drove him away three days after the abduction.
In his closing arguments, the prosecutor claimed that Hollywood was the mastermind and provided the murder weapon to Hoyt.
"His method was to have other people do his dirty work for him," Lynn said.
Markowitz's body was later found in a grave in a hiking area in the Santa Barbara foothills. He had been shot nine times.
Hollywood fled after the killing and was arrested in 2005 in Brazil.
Hoyt was sentenced to death and three other men got lesser sentences.
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