Closing arguments begin in case of man accused of murdering stepmother

BROKEN BOW, Neb. -- Closing arguments begin today in the murder trial of a central Nebraska man accused of murdering his stepmother.

46-year-old Trenton Esch, of Broken Bow, took the witness stand Thursday, where he admitted to his involvement in the killing of his stepmother, Crystal Esch, last July.

But Esch told the court he had no intention of killing his stepmother. He did admit to the jury that he had been drinking that day and had brought a gun with him to her residence, eventually shooting her during an argument.

Esch had a protection order against him that prevented him from going to his stepmother's house. Surveillance video showed he was only in the house for 20 seconds.

The prosecution is hoping for a first-degree murder conviction, which carries a mandatory life sentence in prison. The defense is hoping for a lesser murder charge.