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Defense Gives Opening Statements in Hofland Trial 

The trial of Randall Hofland continued in Belfast with the defense giving opening statements Tuesday.Hofland is accused of taking a Stockton Springs Elementary School classroom full of students hostage on Halloween 2008.Hofland’s standby attorney Jeffrey Toothaker delivered the opening statement, saying Hofland held the students for a short period of time and asked if this could be considered kidnapping if the students weren’t held by force.”Whether he pointed a gun at anybody, he says he didn’t so do you see why we now have a factual determination by you on the issue of restraint and maybe we could have done it quicker but the issue here is kidnapping and restraint: 33 counts,” he said.Toothaker gave the jury a detailed description of the charges and what they meant.When the trial first began, Hofland waived his right to give his opening statement until after the state had presented its case.Toothaker was hired by Hofland’s parents to represent him, but Hofland was ruled competent to represent himself and has been doing so since the trial began.The jury heard from several witnesses including dispatchers who took the call the day Hofland allegedly held the students hostage.Others who have known Hofland for years also took the stand.Hofland is expected to testify on Wednesday.