Jury deliberations today in family shooting trial
A jury today will deliberate on the verdict of a man who says he shot his grandson to defend a woman tossed out a screen door.
Attorneys on both sides were not finished with closing arguments Tuesday in the case of David Bayless, who faces a maximum of life in state prison if convicted on charges of unlawful possession of a gun, assault with a firearm causing great bodily injury and mayhem with special circumstances.
Prosecutor Anthony Sears began his argument by focusing on the charges and defining them for the jury. He described the charge of unlawful possession of a gun by 71-year-old Bayless, a convicted felon, a “gimme.”
Sears asked the jury to focus on the testimony of Donna Shevock, who was thrown out of Bayless’ apartment during the early hours of Aug. 16, 2001, by Joshua Stone, Bayless’ visiting 27-year-old grandson.
“Just because you’re a jerk doesn’t mean you get shot,” Sears told the jury, alluding to the behavior of Stone, who was pestering and annoying Shevock during his visit.
Sears then concentrated on the time when Bayless testified he “blacked out” after pulling the trigger and finding himself in the police station being interviewed. Sears found it convenient that Bayless, who testified he was in shock but concerned for Stone, said he didn’t remember hurling profanities at authorities who were busy assessing the situation outside the apartment.
Raising his voice at the end for emphasis, Sears left the jury thinking about Shevock not hearing the shot.
“What that means is when Mr. Stone went back into the apartment to close the door he got shot,” Sears said.
Deputy Public Defender Simon Harvey took a milder approach in his lengthy closing argument. He used a projector to detail the events of the August 2001 incident, citing testimony of Stone’s irrational, bizarre and threatening behavior.
“I have less laws to give you but more evidence,” Harvey said.
Harvey delved into Stone’s behavior. He cited the time before the shooting when Stone was leering at an unimpressed Shevock, asking for cocaine from complete strangers and believing he was the devil when hailing a cab driver who then threw Stone out of the vehicle.
“David Bayless is afraid of (Stone). He’s 70,” Harvey said. “He can’t get in Josh’s way. He said getting in front of Josh would be like getting in front of a steamroller.”
Harvey said the reason Shevock didn’t hear the gunshot was because she was dazed after being heaved by Stone, who became enraged when Shevock mentioned a $3,000 contract on his life.
As for Bayless’ profanities, Harvey said his client was “frustrated” because authorities were hesitant to enter the apartment.
By citing a police report, Harvey read to the jury what a flailing Stone told an officer while being restrained at Barton Memorial Hospital.
“Josh Stone told Officer (Rebecca) Inman that his grandfather shot him ‘because I kicked a lady out of the apartment’,” Harvey said.
As 5 p.m. neared, Harvey said he needed 30 more minutes. Sears, who was taking notes during Harvey’s argument, gets a chance for a rebuttal after the defense finishes its case.
— E-mail William Ferchland at firstname.lastname@example.org
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