Murder trial opens in Tahoe musician’s death |

Murder trial opens in Tahoe musician’s death

RENO (AP) — Musician Laurie Jean Lawrence performed at a Lake Tahoe club in September and left for her Reno home.

The next morning, her body was found — covered with bruises and with three gunshot wounds in her head.

“I’m going to ask you to hold this man responsible for the first-degree murder of Laurie Jean Lawrence,” Deputy District Attorney Bruce Hahn told the seven-woman, seven-man jury in Reno, pointing to Denver Dean Pullin. The 44-year-old drummer is charged with pulling the trigger that ended Lawrence’s life on Sept. 2.

Lawrence was a singer and bass player with the band Cool Black Kettle and performed at clubs in Reno, Lake Tahoe and the Bay Area.

Pullin’s lawyer, Maizie Pusich, said there is more to the story.

Before police arrived at the home Lawrence and Pullin shared, she said Pullin had called several friends and family members, leaving messages that said “good-bye.”

Pullin was taken into custody, and a blood alcohol test found “appreciable amounts of alcohol in his system,” Pusich said.

Police said they also found notes scribbled in colored markers on the walls inside the house saying “I’m so sorry,” and “I can’t believe I did it.”

While Pullin appeared to be the only one at the home when Lawrence was shot, Pusich said it was questionable whether he was in a state of mind to do this with premeditation, deliberation, malice and forethought needed to convict him of first-degree murder.

The Washoe District Court trial is expected to run into next week.

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