Fire alarms halt cross-examination of Warren murder suspect on second day of testimonies
A Trumbull County courtroom heard its second set of testimonies on Tuesday in the capital trial of Kashaun Williams, the suspect in a shooting that left 34-year-old James Chapman dead and his girlfriend, Martina Moore wounded in Warren on Palm Sunday.
Tuesday's testimonies came from Warren Police Department Detective Sgt. Eric Laprocina, as well as BCI forensics experts David Miller and Joshua Barr and Trumbull County Deputy Coroner, Dr. George Sterbenz.
Dr. Sterbenz, who conducted the autopsy on Chapman says he died of two gunshot wounds that entered the body through the back. Sterbenz testified that one of those bullets created a "tight contact" wound that pierced through the thoracic vertebrae and cut the spinal cord in half.
Dr. Sterbenz went on to testify that the second bullet entered the left lung and heart piercing a pulmonary artery before exiting at the sternum. This wound resulted in the loss of about a half-gallon of blood according to Dr. Sterbenz's testimony.
Meanwhile Miller testified that Williams' DNA was found on two places of the murder weapon, a Springfield Armory 9mm pistol, and Barr, a ballistics expert testified that test firings of the weapon created shells similar in markings to the five shells found at the scene of the crime.
BCI officials further testified that two bullet fragments taken from inside the house on Lener Avenue SW also matched the murder weapon. The fragments in question came from when Williams allegedly shot and wounded Moore.
According to the Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office, Williams' attorney told Judge Ronald Rice that he expects to call some defense witnesses following the cross examination of Dr. Sterbenz.
Williams was called up to the stand to defend himself despite warnings that doing this would bring his past criminal record to light.
Nevertheless, Williams took the stand and testified that Moore was responsible for the initial shooting and said he shot Moore in self-defense. Williams testified that he did not bring the murder weapon to the home and denied shooting Chapman to death.
Before cross examination on Williams could occur, fire alarms sounded causing the courtroom to be cleared.
Closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday morning. If Williams is found guilty, he could face the death penalty. Should he be found guilty, a mitigation portion of the trial would need to be held, but that will not be determined until the jury deliberates.
Moore testified giving the court her side of the story on Monday. You can read about that in our related coverage below.