*****TRIAL COVERAGE AT BOTTOM:
BREAKING NOW (03-28-09): SHOCKLEY'S DEFENSE TEAM FILES MOTION FOR MISTRIAL--JURY DEADLOCKED....JUDGE WILL DECIDE TROOPER SHOOTER'S FATE:
A jury has been selected and testimony will began today in the capital murder trial of a Van Buren man accused of killing a Highway Patrol Trooper.
It was four years ago that Lance Shockley allegedly gunned down Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Sergeant Carl DeWayne Graham Jr. in the driveway of his Van Buren home as he returned home from work.
Prosecutors say that Shockley killed Graham because the trooper was investigating a fatal drunk driving crash that killed the fiancee of his sister-in-law in which he was the driver....and he believed his arrest was imminent.
A jury was selected in Carter County and imported to Howell County for the trial.
Jurors, who are going to be sequestered for the duration of the trial, were to be transported to Howell County this morning, and are expected to begin hearing testimony at 1 p.m.
****UPDATE (03-23-09) 5:15 p.m.
Jurors in a packed West Plains courtroom heard from witnesses this afternoon regarding the fatal drunk driving crash that killed Lance Shockley's sister-in-law's fiancee, and Shockley's best-friend, Jeffery Bayless.
Public Defenders for Shockley, who is from Van Buren, say that he will admit guilt for the accident---but that it was not a motive for their client to gun down Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Carl DeWayne Graham.
They also claim to have an eyewitness that can place Shockley nowhere near Trooper Graham's home on March 20, 2005.
Prosecutors with the Missouri Attorney General's office say they can prove that Shockley borrowed his grandmother's car and waited for Sgt. Graham to return home from work and ambushed him......shooting him once in the back, and twice in the face.
Called to the stand today were Paul and Ivy Napier, both of whom testified Shockley came to their rural home on County Road 217 the night of the fatal crash, seeking help.
Paul Napier said he returned to the crash scene with Shockley, while his wife called for help.
"He had told us he had been in a wreck," said Ivy Napier, who described Shockley having blood on his hands.
During Sgt. Graham's initial investigation, Ivy Napier said, she didn't report that Shockley had been involved in the crash. She testified she provided that information to Graham on March 19, 2005, when the trooper re-interviewed the couple.
Ryan Huff, who worked as a conservation agent, took the stand next. He says when he arrived at the accident scene he spotted a victim (Jeffrey Bayless) inside.
He says Bayless was slumped over in the vehicle. Huff testified that he spotted beer cans and a tequila bottle inside the truck.
He also told the jury he saw a rifle inside the vehicle, along with some blood on the side of the vehicle.
Cynthia Chilton, Bayless' fiancee and Shockley's sister-in-law, testified that she knew that Shockley was the driver of the car, but that she didn't report that fact to authorities.
Chilton said that Graham was attempting to contact her about the crash at the time of his death.
Because of the huge presence of law enforcers in the courtroom, officers were asked to remove their badges as to not influence the jury.
Testimony is expected to last all week and possibly into Saturday.
UPDATE (03-24 & 25-09):
Jurors in the Lance Shockley murder trial heard emotional testimony and viewed crime scene and autopsy photographs during the second day of the murder case in which prosecutors say Lance Shockley ambushed Missouri State Highway Patrol Carl "DeWayne Graham Jr.
Prosecutors say that Lance Shockley, 32, of Van Buren, Mo., gunned down Sgt. Graham in his driveway March 20, 2005, when he returned home from his shift.
Shockley is being tried on charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with Graham's death, and a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident for a fatal car crash that left Jeffrey Bayless dead, in which Graham was the investigating officer.
Called to the witness stand first on Tuesday was Judy Hogan, a woman whose husband owned a nearby business. She told jurors that she found Graham's body lying face up beside his patrol car, which was backed into his driveway. One of the doors, she said, was open.
"I walked over to him to see if he was still alive," she said. He wasn't.
Not wanting to leave Graham, she said, she called her husband, whose shop was about 200 yards down a private lane from Graham's house.
"I told him the trooper had been shot, he was dead and he needed to call for help," Hogan said.
Trooper Artie Trobeck testified that when he was first contacted by Troop G Headquarters at 5:18 p.m., he only knew shots had been fired north of his location on Route M.
As he was headed to the crime scene he contacted dispatchers to ask for the specific location.....that is when he was told that the shots fired were at his fellow officers home.
Trobeck said he initially thought a hunter "stumbled onto Dewayne's property, not that Dewayne had been shot."
Trobeck, who was emotional on the stand at times, said Graham "had been shot in the face. I could tell it was a shotgun blast to the forehead/face."
Trobeck initially thought that Graham's shotgun may have accidentally discharged, but after checking it he found it in his patrol car.
Trobeck called for emergency medical service for his friend and brother in blue, then notified his supervisor at the time, Cpl. Craig Ponder.
The pathologist who performed the autopsy on Trooper Graham, Dr. Michael Zaricor, walked the jury through his autopsy on Graham and his findings.
Autopsy results showed that on of the shotgun blasts that killed Graham was fired almost horizontally into the trooper....and that shotgun pellets peppered the left side of Graham's face and his left shoulder through his uniform.
It wasn't until Zaricor undressed Graham that he found a pinpoint hole in the back of his shirt caused by a bullet that penetrated Sgt. Graham's bullet proof vest.
That bullet, severed Graham's spinal cord, paralyzing him according to the pathologist, who added that when Graham fell backward from the shotgun blast ---he also suffered a fractured skull as well as two rib fractures.
Zaricor said that after the initial shot that paralysed Graham his heart was beating....he was alive and had to lie there, not able to defend himself, as he was shot in the head.
Several criminal investigators with the highway patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control also testified about evidence seized at the crime scene and Shockley's residence.
Sgt. MacDonald Brand testified that items found in the front passenger seat of Graham's patrol car reflected his investigation into a car crash that left Jeffrey Bayless dead.
Shockley is charged with leaving the scene of an accident for the crash that killed his best friend.
Other items recovered were telephone numbers of Bayless' fiancée, Cindy Chilton, and her mother, Sherry, written by Sgt. Graham in a spiral notebook.
Written on a Highway Patrol form were four questions Graham apparently had planned to ask Chilton about the accident, Brand said..... one question was: "Who called you about (the accident) or how did you find out about and what time?"
Graham's calendar, cell phone and other paperwork were found on the ground at his feet.
On cross-examination, Shockley's attorney, Bradford Kessler, asked Brand if he remembered talking with a witness who reported seeing a red car with two people in it.....Brand said he couldn't recall that information.
Brand also told Kessler that he didn't remember going to Shockley's uncle's residence with three other officers on March 20, 2005, or having a conversation with him about becoming a confidential informant.
Robert Shockley, uncle of Lance Shockley, testified that Coree Shockley the wife of Lance Shockley delivered a box of .243-caliber ammunition to him the night that Trooper Graham was shot, saying "Lance said you would know what to do with this."
Prosecutors say that a bullet recovered from Graham's body may have been fired by a .243-caliber rifle.
The state contends that Lance Shockley owned a .243 rifle, however, there wasn't one found when a search warrant was served at the Shockley home.
On the third day of testimony in the capital murder trial of Lance Shockley his former girlfriend took the stand.
Laura Chilton Smith, Shockley's girlfriend from 1994 to 2001, and the mother of his two children, testified that Shockley purchased a .243-caliber rifle around 1998 and that he was known to trade guns.
Smith said that Shockley's grandfather had given him a .243 rifle, and it was among his prized possessions.
Smith told the jury that she received a collect from Shockley after his arrest.
Before handing the phone to the children, Smith said, she told Shockley their children were very smart ... "smart like you."
His reply..... "Apparently, I'm not that smart because I've done something stupid."
On cross-examination, Smith confirmed Shockley did not admit to shooting Graham, but that she was familiar with the fatal car crash.
Angela Walker, who worked with Shockley at Robertson Construction, said her husband, Howard, had sold Shockley a Browning .243-caliber rifle about 15 years ago.
Walker described the gun as fairly new and found records for the sale, that included the model, serial numbers and price that Shockley paid after she was contacted by investigators....she also noted that it had a scope.
On cross-examination, Walker confirmed her husband traded and sold guns frequently.
George Beck, Shockley's former stepfather, said that he and other friends used a large sawdust pile from a defunct sawmill to fire weapons into.
Beck testified that he didn't know how many people may have used the sawdust pile for target practice, nor how many rounds had been fired into the pile or when.
Brand, described the sawdust pile as being about 10 feet tall and as long as a football field.
"We shot there for years, even before the house was built," Beck said.
That sawdust pile was the subject of an extensive search by law enforcement looking for bullets or fragments.
A retired FBI firearms examiner,John Dillon, who now works as an independent consultant, said he was asked by the state to analyze five bullet fragments removed from Graham's body and compare those to three found in a field at Shockley's residence.
Based on Dillon's analysis and the degraded condition of the bullet fragments from Graham's body, "the best I could do was bracket the extreme," a range of .22- to .24-caliber, for the weapon that may have fired it, Dillon said.
The bullet, he said, could have been fired from potentially millions of weapons, ranging from .22-, .223- and .243-caliber rifles.
The characteristics of two of the bullet fragments from Shockley's field were consistent with being fired from the .22- to .24-caliber class of weapons, Dillon said. The third, he said, couldn't be determined because the damage was "so extreme."
Dillon testified that the three bullets had the same general characteristics, but he could not say with certainty that they were fired from the same rifle.
While Dillon's findings were inconclusive, a firearms examiner from the Missouri State Crime Lab, came up with a different conclusion.
Crafton said that based on his experience, it was his scientific opinion that "all four of these bullet jackets (and) bullet fragments were fired from the same firearm."
Crafton said he didn't indicate that the rounds were fired from a "specific caliber" weapon, but from the .22- to .24-caliber class, and said that he provided law enforcement with a list of possible weapons, which included a .243-caliber rifle.
Crafton testified that he examined five .243-caliber shell casings found at Shockley's house, as well as one .243 casing found at Robert Shockley's, Lance Shockley's uncle, house.
Based on his analyses, Crafton said, he determined all the casings were Remington brand ammunition and were "fired from one firearm."
Sgt. Dennis Rainey, arrested Shockley in Malden after a felony warrant was issued in Carter County for leaving the scene of an accident.
Rainey said he stopped Shockley's truck at the intersection of County Road 120 and Highway 25 after he left work at a church construction site near Malden.
Rainey, who had a description of Shockley's truck, said he received a cell call from an informant when Shockley left work.
After pulling Shockley over, Rainey said, both he and Shockley exited their vehicles. "I gestured for him to come to me and he did."
Rainey testified that when he asked for identification, "he told me his name was Lance Shockley," Rainey said. "I told him he was under arrest for a felony warrant from Carter County."
Rainey said that he did not tell Shockley what the charge was, only that it was a felony warrant from Carter County.....then cuffed him and put him in his patrol car.
"I asked him for consent to search his truck; he said he didn't want it searched," but wanted it released to a co-worker, Rainey said.
Instead, the truck, he said, was towed by officers.
On the way to the Malden Police Department, Rainey said, Shockley again asked "what this was about."
Rainey told him again about the felony warrant.
Again Shockley asked "what this was about" and Rainey responded that it was for a felony warrant.
Rainey testified that Shockley said,"This probably has something to do with the trooper that was shot," he said he did not respond to the comment.
On cross-examination, Bradford Kessler asked why Rainey didn't tell Shockley what he was being arrested for when he asked three times.
"I was instructed to pick him up and tell him he was under arrest for a felony warrant for Carter County, but not to discuss the details," Rainey said.
Kessler asked Rainey if it was customary to inform someone why they are being arrested, "I've arrested people on warrants (and) discussed the details later," Rainey said.
"Anyone, other than Shockley, ask three times?," Kessler asked.
"No, sir," Rainey said.
On cross-examination Rainey said he completed a cursory search of Shockley's truck after his arrest-----even though Shockley denied him permission to search the truck, and at the time there wasn't a search warrant issued for the vehicle.
Rainey said that Shockley was cooperative when he was arrested, didn't yell and did not try to evade him.
Prosecutors finished up with their phase of the case and handed the case over to the Defense today....after calling just one witness, the defense rested their case.
It took a jury a little over three hours to come back with a guilty verdict in the capital murder trial of Lance Shockley.
Prosecutors proved that Shockley, 32, of Van Buren, gunned down Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham Jr., in the driveway of his Van Buren home on March 20, 2005, because he was investigating a fatal car crash in which Shockley was the driver.
Jurors began hearing the penalty phase of the trial at about 2:00 p.m. That's a mini-trial where jurors again here from witnesses and family members of both Sgt. Graham and Lance Shockley.
Jurors were released a little after 5 this evening. They are scheduled to resume hearing testimony at 8:30 in the morning.
The jury was picked in Carter County, but imported to West Plains to hear the trial wher they have been sequestered for the duration of the trial.
BREAKING NOW (03-28-09): SHOCKLEY'S DEFENSE TEAM FILES MOTION FOR MISTRIAL:
It appears that the defense team of Lance Shockley has filed a motion for a mistrial.
According to The Dexter Daily Statesmen, the father of Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham has indicated that one of the jurors (the foreperson) is a published author, having written a fictional book that deals with the law enforcement.......and is reportedly the father of a cop.
The lead attorney on the defense team, Bradford Kessler, claims to have not known about the publication of the book.....and is questioning the juror's bias based on the publication.
Sgt. Graham's father told The Statesmen that it was made known during jury selection, and the juror in question was selected based on that knowledge.
Judge David Evans reportedly denied Kesslers request for a mistrial and ordered Kessler to close, which he has refused to do.
Closing statements from the defense team could be delivered by David Bruns---or Judge Evans has ruled that the sentencing phase of the trial may end without closing statements if the defense chooses not to address the court.
Members of the jury (which has been sequestered since opening statements on Monday 03-23-09) were chosen from Carter County which is where both Shockley and Graham lived and moved to Howell County on a change of venue.
Saturday was an eventful day in the capital murder trial of Lance Shockley.......the defense team filed a motion for a mistrial---and the jury deadlocked during the penalty phase of the trial.
A Carter County jury found Shockley guilty Friday of Highway Patrol Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham's March 2005 death, but during the penalty phase of the trial yesterday (03-28-09) the defense team filed a motion for a mistrial, citing juror misconduct.
Prosecutors proved to the jury that Shockley gunned down Sgt. Graham in the driveway of his Van Buren home on March 20, 2005, because he was investigating Shockley for leaving the scene of a November 2004 car crash that killed his best friend, Jeffrey Bayless.
Sgt. Graham was still in uniform, having just completed his shift.
Attorney Bradford Kessler, who is the lead attorney on Shockley's defense team, told Judge Evans that one of the juror's (the foreperson) was a published author of a fictional book that had some similarities to the case, and was the father of a police officer.
Presiding Circuit Court Judge David Evans denied the motion but replaced the juror in question with an alternate juror, and Kessler closed.
The jury began deliberating if Shockley should receive the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole about 3:20 p.m. Saturday.
A little after six, the jury sent out a question asking what to do if it could not agree on a sentence.....by 6:30 they set out an "unable to decide or agree" jury form.
Evans said the jury had unanimously agreed on three aggravating circumstanes it had been asked to consider while deciding on a sentence; they agreed that Graham was a peace officer exercising his duty at the time of his death and was a potential witness in a pending investigation....but found no mitigating factors.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that a jury, not a judge alone, must find that at least one aggravating circumstance exists in order for a judge to impose a death penalty.
Kessler told the jury that they accepted the jury's decison, but pleaded with them to let Shockley live for the sake of his children and family.
Judge Evans released the jury from their service and will pronounce sentence on Shockley on April 27th.
The sentencing date for a Carter County man found guilty of capital murder for the death of a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper has been rescheduled.
A jury found Lance Shockley guilty of gunning down Trooper Carl Dewayne Graham Jr., in March 2005 in the driveway of Graham's Van Buren home last month.
Shockley was scheduled to be sentenced on April 27th, but that date has been re-set for May 5th.
05C2-CR00080-01 - ST V LANCE SHOCKLEY