This is a developing story.
UPDATE: Jurors convicted Christopher Padgett of first-degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery in the in 2012 slaying of cab driver Nathan Deere.
Padgett wasn't present for the decision after cutting off his GPS monitor, fleeing the area and never returning to court earlier this week.
Jurors are now deliberating in the murder trial of Christopher Padgett, the 22-year-old man who cut off his GPS monitor and never returned to court earlier this week.
After presenting evidence that Padgett, then 18, called Nathan Deere for a ride, hopped in his cab, then shot him in the back of the head before fleeing with his cab fares at 1643 Ocoee Street in April 2012, prosecutors put on closing arguments today in Hamilton County Criminal Court.
Prosecutor Jason Demastus explained the statute for felony murder, one of the charges Padgett faces.
The state, he said, had to show the killing happened in connection with an attempted robbery — and it had.
Demastus referred to testimony that Padgett's phone number was on Deere's phone log; that Padgett picked up when police called around midnight, immediately claiming he lent his phone to a friend between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., when the homicide happened; and that cell phone tower records showed their locations converging, too.
One of his defense attorneys, Meredith Ziebold, said their phones accessed the same cell towers, but that didn't mean he shot Deere, robbed him and took his life.
"That just meant they were in the same area," she said.
Ziebold also pointed to the state's forensic evidence: Padgett's fingerprints were nowhere in the cab or cellphone. And the cellphone cover that authorities found never tested positive for Padgett's DNA.
Following up on a previous argument, Ziebold said officers never connected the $76 in Padgett's room to the murder on Ocoee Street.
"So there's just not proof that Mr. Padgett committed a robbery," Ziebold said. "And if he didn't rob Mr. Deere, then he didn't commit a felony murder."
For the state's final closing, prosecutor Cameron Williams complemented his colleague's fact-driven argument with an emotional appeal. He slid a picture onto the courtroom projector: Nathan Deere smiling in his cab.
"He had moved here outside of Chattanooga and was working his way up," Williams said. "He started to be a positive member of this community, and that was all taken away April 18."
Williams then turned his attention to Padgett, who never showed up for the third morning of his trial.
In June 2015, witnesses said, the 22-year-old was out on bond.
But after he violated the conditions of his release, Padgett returned to jail, where he sat until Friday. That's when his family posted money for his $350,000 bond. And that's when attorneys on the case started to worry that he wouldn't return.
"What [Padgett] did," prosecutor Williams said," is he pulled out his gun and fired a .32-revolver into the head of Nathan Deere. And then he took his money, and he took his phone, and he ran away, much like he ran away yesterday during trial.
"Because that's what he does," Williams continues. "And that's what he did yesterday. He didn't like how the proof was going and he ran away."
This is a developing story. Check back later for more updates.
This story was updated Oct. 7 at 1:55 p.m. Stay with the Times Free Press as more information becomes available.