published Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Myles Stout trial testimony starts today

Myles Stout, right, sits at the defense table with Mike Little as jury selection continues Tuesday in Judge Barry Steelman's courtroom.
Myles Stout, right, sits at the defense table with Mike Little as jury selection continues Tuesday in Judge Barry Steelman's courtroom.
Photo by Tim Barber.

Starting this morning, a jury of 10 men and four women will decide a murder case against a 21-year-old man.

Attorneys completed jury selection Tuesday in the trial of Myles Stout. Testimony starts today before Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Lance Pope asked jurors if they own guns, what type of training they've had and what types of weapons they've handled.

When asked why he takes multiple safety steps before firing a handgun, one juror replied: "I have tremendous respect for weapons and the damage they can do, and I don't take it lightly."

Stout's defense in the March 9, 2011, shooting death of Myles Compton, 18, is that the shooting was an accident and he did not know the weapon was loaded. He is charged with second-degree murder, reckless homicide and reckless endangerment.

Police and witnesses say Stout shot Compton in the chest at a gathering in the Chattanooga home of Kevin Driscoll.

Compton's family has filed a separate $10 million civil lawsuit against Stout, Driscoll and Driscoll's parents, Jerry and Patricia, who own the gun and allegedly allowed minors to drink in their home before the shooting.

Previous testimony described a scene in which Kevin Driscoll showed Compton two unloaded handguns. He said he heard Stout load one of the guns, then saw him point it at several people before pushing the barrel of the 9mm pistol into Compton's chest and firing.

The trial is expected to last into next week, according to attorneys.

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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