published Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Chattanooga: Each side wants jury to interpret shooting video differently

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Both the prosecution and defense teams in a murder trial that began today will rely on video footage to prove their point.

But each side wants the jury to reach different conclusions from what they see.

Prosecutor Matthew Rogers told jurors during his opening statement this afternoon that they will see a brief exchange between the defendant — Jamaal Byrd, 32, and the victim Terrance Etchison — and then see footage of Byrd shooting Etchison in the chest and drive away.

But one of Byrd's attorneys, Fred Hanzelik, told the jury the footage isn't that clearcut.

There was arguing and death threats from Etchison against Byrd in the moments preceding the Feb. 27, 2010, fatal shooting at the Wilcox Boulevard Kanku's gas station.

In a preliminary hearing shortly after the shooting Byrd claimed he shot in self-defense.

The shooting was one of two fatal shootings at the gas station that spring and launched both public and political outcry that included multiple community meetings on violence in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Montez Davis received a 21-year sentence on a second-degree murder conviction following a 2011 jury trial in the shooting death of Jonathan Lawrence at the same gas station on Jan. 9, 2010.

For more see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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