published Friday, September 7th, 2012

Audio, video show Stout's demeanor after shooting

Myles Stout sits at the defense table during jury selection Tuesday in Judge Barry Steelman's courtroom.
Myles Stout sits at the defense table during jury selection Tuesday in Judge Barry Steelman's courtroom.
Photo by Tim Barber /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A 911 call and video footage taken shortly after his police interview revealed details Thursday of Myles Stout's behavior shortly after he shot Myles Compton.

Stout, 21, is on trial for second-degree murder in the March 9, 2011, death of Compton. Prosecutors Lance Pope and David Schmidt played Stout's 911 call to the jury Thursday, the third day of the trial.

Stout has admitted shooting Compton but said it was an accident.

In the 911 call played for the jury, Stout tells the operator that Compton, 18, was playing with a gun and shot himself. The operator asks if Compton is breathing.

Stout says, "Let me check if there's a pulse. I do know how to do that."

He then tells the operator, "Ma'am, he's not breathing."

"Where did he shoot himself?" the operator asks.

"The chest, he's gone," Stout replies.

Testimony so far in the trial has indicated that Stout left the room seconds after the shooting and did not return.

In an attempt to counter statements made by a witness about her observations of Stout after Compton died, Stout's attorney, Hank Hill, played video footage of his client in an Hamilton County Sheriff's Office interrogation room after he gave a statement about the shooting.

Jurors were not allowed to see the video Thursday, but Hill has asked Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman to allow them to see it to refute previous testimony by Amanda Freeman, who also was present at the shooting.

Freeman testified Wednesday that she saw Stout laughing and smiling while in the hall of the sheriff's annex, waiting to be interviewed.

In the nine-minute. 36-second video, Stout is alone in the room after an investigator leaves. While alone, he alternately sits and stands barefoot, at times sobbing into his hands or the corner of the wall.

"I'm sorry God it was an accident. I didn't mean to shoot him," he says on the footage.

"I'm sorry, Myles, I'm sorry," he says at one point. "Man, I love you and you know that."

Steelman said he would rule on Hill's request before the trial resumes today.

Stout shot Compton in the chest with a .40-caliber Sig Sauer handgun. Multiple witnesses testified that Compton never touched a gun during the incident.

Hill has attempted through cross-examination and his opening statement to show Stout didn't know the gun was loaded when he pointed it at Compton's chest and pulled the trigger. Prosecutors have brought in multiple witnesses who were at the 9125 Stoney Mountain Drive home of Kevin Driscoll when Stout shot Compton.

Stout is free on bond during the trial.

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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