Action News 5 will be in the courtroom for the duration of the Harry Coleman trial. Coleman, a Cordova businessman, is accused of second degree murder in the death of FedEx mechanic Robert Schwerin, Jr.
According to police, the shooting happened on February 6, 2009, in the parking lot of the Trinity Commons Shopping Center on Germantown Road in Cordova.
Action News 5 will bring you regular updates from the courtroom for the length of the trial.
6:25 PM - The judge breaks for the day.
Dallas Schwerin must return tomorrow morning to complete his testimony.
Trial will resume at 9:30 tomorrow morning.
6:20 PM - Dallas says he first saw the gun when Coleman stepped out of the Hummer with the gun in his hand pointed up toward the sky. He says Coleman walked up to his dad and pointed the gun in his dad's face. He says Coleman stood directly in front of his dad. he says his dad was being silent because he had a gun his mouth.
Dallas says Coleman stepped back right before he shot his father. He says he would not use the word retreat because it implies that someone is scared and he doesn't think Coleman was ever scared. Dallas says Coleman backed up 6 or 7 feet. He says the whole scene was chaos, that this guy's crazy, he's pointing a gun at me, we need to go. Dallas say he tried to reason with his dad, to try to get him to go, but his dad pushed him back. He says his dad was trying to protect him. He says he told his dad to just go. He says he also told the same to Katherine Coleman.
He says he regrets many things about that night and one of them is that he retreated twenty feet when his dad pushed him away.
He says he never saw a guy dressed in all white that night. He says it felt like it took police ten minutes to get there when it reality it was two. He says he did not see his father get shot. He heard the gunshot, turned around and saw his dad falling with the gun still pointed at him.
Dallas points out, on the graphic, where he was when his father got shot. He initials the spot 'DES.' He marks the spot where his father went down. He marks the spot where Coleman was standing.
6:10 PM - There is a break in the action for a conference at the bench. It is short. Farese resumes questioning Dallas. He asks how big his dad was.
Dallas tells Farese that he himself is "about 6-foot, 6-foot-one on a good day."
Dallas says the Hummer had four doors on it. He says Coleman went into the front passenger side door and that he's sure of it, as sure as anything else he's said. He says he could tell Coleman was rummaging through some stuff. Dallas say he only approached his father once and his dad only pushed him back once. That was after he had the gun in his face. Dallas says at times, both Coleman and his dad were obnoxious, yelling, and cussing. Dallas say his father started the whole thing by vandalizing the Hummer, by removing the light covers. Katherine Coleman came up. She was irate. And started yelling. Dallas say he can understand why someone might be upset if they saw someone vandalizing their car.
Dallas says someone went to get Mr. Coleman. He went to his wife and had a conversation with his wife. There's was no hollering and screaming. Dallas says Coleman was finding out from his wife what was going on. Dallas acknowledges that neither Coleman nor his dad were cussing and yelling when Coleman walked out of the restaurant. Dallas says his father was not yelling while the Coleman's were talking when they stepped out of the restaurant.
Dallas says Coleman and his dad seemed to be having a civil conversation at first, but something set everything off again. That's hen Coleman slid sideways between the two vehicles to get to the car door. He says Coleman was still watching his father. The doors slams into the Denali.
6 PM - The bench conference is short. Steve Farese cross-examines Dallas Schwerin and promises to call him Mr. Schwerin. Dallas says he has read over the statement he made to police in preparation for his testimony. Farese hands him the statement he made to the police. Dallas acknowledges that the statement does not contain the part where Katherine Coleman told him that neither vehicle was moving. Dallas tells him that the police statement was not about Hatherine Coleman but rather about the events of the shooting. He says the first time he told anyone about Katherine Coleman's words was the first time he met the prosecutors last summed. He says they were taking notes. He says he did not tell the police that his father reacted to Coleman's banging the Hummer door into the Denali. However, he told prosecutors the first time he met them, he says.
Dallas says the first time he told anyone about Katherine Coleman poking his dad in the chest was the first time he met with prosecutors. He says the officers did not ask him what was said, they asked him what had happened. However, when they asked if he wanted to add anything, he told them no. He says at the time, he did not know his dad had died. He says he did not tell the officers what all was said.
Farese hands Dallas the white board, the diagram of the parking lot. He asks Dallas to point out where Katherine COleman was positioned when he first pulled up. He points to a spot behind the two trucks but in the middle of them so she could see his dad through the space.
He says his dad has cursed at other people before, mainly he and his brother for doing some dumb stuff. Dallas says he's never seen his dad threaten anyone else to the point of life, but he has threatened he and his brother and gotten angry at them. Dallas says he's never seen his dad threaten anyone before in his life.
5:50 PM - Dallas says his dad pushed him away from the argument. He says he then walked away from the argument. He says the whole entire time, he heard the argument between the Coleman's and his dad.
He says he saw the gun out and pointed in his dad's mouth. Coleman pulls the gun out of dad's mouth.C Dallas walks dup to his dad. His dad pushed him away with his left forearm in the chest and knocks him back. He says he turned away from the argument. He says he left the argument, but it continued. Now the nature of the argument was about vandalism to the Denali.
He says his back was turned when Coleman shot his dad. He says he heard the gunshot, turned around and saw his dad drop and Katherine Coleman drop too. He says he saw Coleman holster the gun in his back right pocket.
He says he never heard his dad threaten either Coleman or strike either of them either. He say the only time it got physical was when Katherine Coleman was hitting his dad in he chest and his dad tried to move her away. He says it wasn't physical until Katherine Coleman was in his dad's face, poking him in the chest, telling him he wasn't such a big shot now that her husband was out there. He says Katherine was poking his dad in the chest. He says his dad tried to create space between himself and Katherine. He says his dad not knock her down that if she staggered she tripped. He says that's what caused Coleman to go get the gun. He says he never saw his dad lunge at Coleman.
Hagerman is done with the witness.
He passes to the defense.
Farese asks for a bench conference.
5:42 PM - The jury returns to the room. The judge says he plans to go past 6 pm, but only a little further than that, not much.
The state calls Dallas Schwerin to the witness stand. He wears khaki pants, a white button down shirt and gold tie.
Dallas is Dutch's other son, the older brother of Colt. Dallas is 22. he has a younger sister named Savannas. She is 4-1/2 years younger than Dallas.
Dallas say they went to Villa Castrioti to celebrate his birthday and his grandfather's birthday. He says they spent all day at his dad's farm. His dad was drinking all day, liquor and beer, but never too much. At some point everybody went to Villa Castrioti. They went in two cars. Had a good, normal, family dinner. Everything seemed normal. When they left the restaurant, Dallas says he went off to the left toward his brother's truck and rode back toward his dad's Denali, which he was going to ride in back to the farm.
He says they got back to the Denali and saw a very irate woman standing there arguing with his dad. He did not know her at the time. He now knows she was Ray Coleman's wife. He says he asked her what was going on. He says she told him that his dad had vandalized her husband's car. He says the woman his dad were yelling profanities back and forth. he did not hear his dad call her a b****. He does not recall the words either party was using. .The argument went back and forth. Dallas say he stopped the argument, got her attention, and asked her if we could just leave. he says he asked her to just take his dad, get in the vehicle and just leave. She said no other vehicles were staying in place. he says his dad remained at the front of the vehicles while he remained at the back.
He says he did not know Ray Coleman that night. And he doesn't know him now but knows who he is. He points out COleman in the courtroom. He says the woman went into the restaurant and got her husband. They came out and stood behind the vehicles and talked. Then Coleman went up through the vehicles and up to his dad.
He says Coleman went up to his dad. Dallas thought the situation had died down a little bit. The ruckus got back up. An argument ensued. he says he heard words, a verbal argument between the COleman's and his dad.
He says Coleman went to the passenger side, opened the door, hit the Denali. He says his dad said some profanity and told Coleman that he was parked to close, "you see?" Dallas says his dad said. "You hit my f***ing vehicle what are you going to do to fix it?"
He says Coleman stepped out of the Hummer with a black handgun approaches his dad and sticks the tip of the gun into the his dad's mouth. He says he approached his dad and his dad pushed him away. It was a push for him to get away. Dallas say it was to protect him. The defense objects. The statement is stricken.
Dallas says he walked away, heard a gunshot, turned around, and saw his dad plop to the ground. He says he saw Katherine hit the ground. HE says he called 911 and was trying to calm down his siblings. He says the scene was chaotic. He says COleman put the gun in his back pocket and knelt down by his wife. He says he did not attend to his dad but two others tried to help him. He says he found out his dad died early the next morning, after he gave a statement to the police.
5:27 PM - The judge returns to the courtroom. The entire gallery pours back into the room. The defense and prosecution is in place. Coleman takes his seat.
The lawyers come up tot he bench for a private conference.
Court is back in session.
The judge calls the jury back into the room.
5:17 PM - Ballin references Colt's statement from that night. he told the police that Coleman yelled at him "Get away. Stay away." On the night it happened he told police that Coleman put the gun in his back pocket not in his waistline, which are two different places, Colt acknowledges.
In reference to the line of questioning, a voice behind me says "He grasping right now."
Colt describes Katherine Coleman as shorter, older, heavyset, black hair. "That's about all I got right now," he says.
He says his dad is bigger than Katherine Coleman. He says Coleman is smaller around the waist and about three inches shorter than his dad. He says he doesn't; know which one would've weighed more.
Ballin is down with Colt. No re-direct.
Colt is done on the stand. He steps down and steps out of the courtroom.
The judge gives the jury a short recess.
He says they will return in five minutes.
5:10 PM - Colt says he never mentioned the man in white in his original statement to the police. He didn't describe or his clothes because he did not mention the man in white at all.
Ballin goes through the nuances of the statement. Colt apparently used the word "I think..." when he explained the events of Katherine Coleman getting in his dad's face.
He says the confrontation continued to the very end. And in the statement he did not equivocate it with "I think..." he stated it as fact. In the statement he told police that Coleman pointed the gun and "me, my brother, and all the other witnesses." He qualifies it by saying that he meant all the other witnesses who were right there. However, Colt earlier said he didn't; know where Dallas was at the time. Ballin wonders how he knows Dallas had the gun pointed at him if he didn't; know where Dallas was. Colt can;t explain.
Colt agrees with Ballin's assessment that the whole thing was "like something out of a "horror film."
After the gunshot, Colt says Coleman put the gun back in his waistline. He says right after the shooting he cursed at Coleman and said, "You shot my dad you a**hole," and then charged at him.
He says Coleman pulled the gun at him and said, "Don't come at me or I'll shoot at you, too."
5 PM - Colt says he never saw Coleman use a telephone and that he didn't take his eyes off of Coleman for more than three seconds. He saw, through the tinted glass of the Hummer, Coleman rummaging through what he assumes was the center console though he doesn't know because he's never been in an original Hummer.
Ballin asks if he ever told anyone that his dad confronted Coleman. Ballin asks what it means to COlt when someone says someone confronts someone else. He says it's when someone approaches and talks to someone else.
Colt says Coleman pulled the gun and was waving it around. He says he pointed the gun at dad, himself, and all of us (the witnesses) standing around at the time. Colt admits, he doesn't;t know where Savannah was at this time. He says she was not trying to restrain add because he thinks she was trying to stay away from the weapon. Colt says he saw Asia Smith for two minute two weeks ago. He says he talked to his brother and sister and the girlfriends about the case shortly after the incident. He says he talked to Dallas about how everything happened.
Ballin gets out the white board with the diagram of the parking lot. He hands it to Colt. They walk through the diagram together. Hummer on left. Yukon Denali on the right. colt writes the initials 'RS' on the board at the spot where he was at the time of the shooting. He writes the initials 'HC' where Harry Coleman was at the time. Ballin hands him a picture of the storefront in case he needs clarification.
Colt says, "They were right in front of the two vehicles." He writes the initials 'DS' to show where his dad was when he was shot. He says he doesn"t;t know where his brother Dallas was at the time. Colt says he never had to tell police about the man in white because the man in white was being helpful and volunteering information to police the whole time.
Ballin hands Colt the statement he made to the police that night.
4:50 PM - Colt says he saw Dutch put his hands on Katherine Coleman twice. colt says he did not see his brother try to restrain his dad. he says he did not see Savannah physically try to restrain Dutch though she did verbally try to get him to stop and get in the car and just leave. Colt says she was outside at the time. he says he never saw Dutch try to get in the car.
Colt says at one point dad told him he didn"t;t do anything to Coleman's car. Later dad told him he pulled the plastic light car off. He says his dad was implying that he didn't do any damage. Colt says he thought the whole thing was silly and inappropriate.
Colt says his dad was angry but not out of control. Ballin apologizes for having to ask about dad's temper. Colt says Katherine Coleman argued with Dutch before and after Harry Coleman arrived. He says the argument continued all the way up until the time of the gunshot. he says the Coleman's and his father were cussing, yelling, and acting inappropriately.
Colt says when Katherine walked off he walked up to his dad. colt says he's not sure where his brother, sister, or the two girlfriend's were at that point.
The courtroom deputy hands Colt Schwerin a styrofoam cup of water, poured by Steve Farese.
Ballin asks if he needs a break. Colt says no need. Questioning continues.
Colt says both Coleman's approached his dad after they came out of the restaurant. The cussing started up immediately. Colt says, at one point, when he heard the scream, he thought they had started fighting. He says he thought Coleman walked up to dad and socked him in the face. Colt says he thought Coleman was going to get into his Hummer and move the car just to make a point. That's when he turned around to go to his vehicle, which was parked behind the Denali. He says he lost sight of Coleman for about three seconds then he heard the scream.
4:38 PM - "That's when he shot my dad. He took a stance and aimed," Colt says.
Colt says he then ran up to Coleman and said you shot my dad you a**hole. He says Coleman then pointed the gun at him and said "I'll shoot you, too."
Colt retreated. he says he felt like the bullet was already inside of him. he says he was yelling all kinds of profanities at Coleman.
Coleman's wife faints.
Colt says he walked around in circles and he was scared. he walked around hugging his siblings. He says he stayed on the phone trying to get an ambulance. he says he did not help his dad, two other men were. One held pressure to the wound. COlt says he walked up to his dad and saw urination coming out and that;s when he knew. Colt says he kept yelling at the cops to arrest Katherine because he thought she was just as responsible. He says Katherine yelled at him, "F*** you. I don't care if he lives or dies."
He went to the police station to give a statement. At the time he had not been told his dad had died though he "knew in my heart."
He says he never heard his dad threaten anybody, anybody's wife, or anybody's dog. He says his dad was acting like a jerk, but did not knock anybody to the ground. HE says he never saw dad aggressively lurch forward toward Coleman.
Colt says Coleman never tried to leave the situation. He says his dad raised his arms because he had a gun in his face. Hagerman is done with Schwerin.
Ballin cross-examines him. He starts by apologizing that he's in this situation.
Colt says his sister had blonde hair in February 2009. Colt says she lived with his dad at the time and that he was living in his own apartment. he did not get to the family get-together in Byhalia earlier in the day. Colt met everyone else at the restaurant. He says everyone arrived around the same time.
Colt says Katie Johnson was not in anyone else's vehicle that night, just his for a short ride back to her boyfriend's truck. He says he saw his dad drinking a glass of vodka with ice and water. Colt says he didn;t have anything to drink. He says Savannah was going to drive Dutch's car home because she wanted to get hours and because his dad didn't like to drive drunk.
Colt says his dad looked fine. He didn't look like he was drunk or belligerent. He re-iterates that he was embarrassed over his dad's behavior when he was cussing and yelling at a woman. Colt says Dutch wasn't mad, but he was using curse words. He says he's seen him angry before. He says he's seen Dutch's temper before. He say the alcohol didn;t have anything to do with the way Dutch was acting that night.
4:25 PM - Colt says Katherine Coleman walked back out of the restaurant and brought her husband into the situation. He says Coleman then approached his dad. He says Coleman came up on the sidewalk within 5-6 feet. He says Coleman was cussing and yelling. He says his dad tried to tell him he didn't do anything. he told Coleman "I pulled your light cover off." They were talking loudly to each other. They weren't being nice to each other. The argument continued.
He says he moved to a point where he was behind the vehicles. He looked up the gap between the two vehicles, which was maybe two feet. he says he watched through the gap. He says Coleman walked up to the passenger side of his Hummer and opened the door. Colts say Coleman and Dutch were still going back and forth.
Colt says he remembers vividly Coleman opening the passenger side of the vehicle. HE says he remembers thinking Coleman would get into the Hummer to bang up the Denali just to make a point and then would move the car. He says he turned to go back to his own car. That's when he heard everybody scream.
He says he then thought Coleman and Dutch had begun fighting, but when he walked up he saw Coleman with a gun pulled. Coleman was 6 feet away from his dad, just moving it around in a stay away from me kinda deal. He says Coleman was pointing it around. They kept arguing. Still in the altercation. He says his dad had his hands up, like in "standing back" way. He demonstrates on the stand. Colt says he was scared. Colt says Katherine Coleman then walked up to Dutch, confronts him and hitting him the chest, yelling at him. COlt says he was in Dutch's face, like "you a**hole." Colt says his dad "made distance" between them. He says his dad moved as if he was walking through a large crowd trying pushing through.
He says that's when Coleman said, "Touch my wife again and I'll blow you;re f***ing brains out." Colt says Katherine then got into Dutch's face again and incited the situation again.
Colt says a man in white showed up. He remembers more than one voice saying calm down, you need to put the gun down. He says the man in white got in front of Coleman and tried to diffuse the situation and then moved out of the way.
Colt says his dad tried to get Katherine to back off again and that's when the shooting happened.
4:13 PM - The jury is back in the room. The judge hands them the cropped picture that shows Dutch Schwerin's arm, the one in which the bruise on his right wrist/forearm is visible. All the jurors are finished.
The state calls Robert Schwerin, III to the witness stand.
He's young, dressed in khaki pants and a blue-collared, button-down dress shirt, and a dark blue tie. His long hair and bangs flop into his eyes.
His nickname is Colt. Dutch was his father. Hagerman showed Colt two pictures, one of Dutch when he was alive, the other of Dutch after he died. Colt was there when his dad was shot and killed. Dutch was 52 at the time. He lived in a farmhouse in Byhalia, MS. He lived with Colt and Savannah. Dutch was a mechanic at FedEx. They went to Villa Castrioti for his mother's parents birthday celebration. They left before the shooting. Colt was at Dutch's funeral.
Colt says he went to the restaurant with his siblings, father, and a couple girlfriends.
He says his dad had two drinks, a glass of vodka and one beer. He says the vodka was a mixed drink. He says he did not spend the day at the house with his father. He doesn't know if his dad had anything to drink before the restaurant. He says the whole family left the restaurant together. His grandparents got to their car first. He says he split off left toward his car with Asia, Katie, and his brother Dallas.
Colt says he did not know Harry Coleman or his wife before this incident. Colt pulled dup in his car to where his dad's car was. He says when he pulled dup he saw Katherine Coleman yelling up through the vehicles. He says they all hopped out and went to look at what was going on. He says they were trying to figure out what was going on. She said Colt's dad had vandalized her husband's vehicle, the Hummer. They were yelling profanities back and forth. Dutch and Katherine Coleman were both yelling profanities at each other. His dad called her a bitch. She told Dutch to "shut the f*** up. You're an a**hole."
They were maybe 20 feet apart yelling and cussing at each other. They argued a lot. Colt says he felt, at this point, embarrassed that these two adults were yelling like children at each other across the parking lot at each other and he was related to one of them. He says he was embarrassed by the actions. Colt says Katherine walked off from the situation.
Then Colt walked up to his dad and asked what Katherine was talking about. He says his dad said "I took the light cover off and that's all I did." He says he did not see where the light covers were at this point.
4 PM - The judge returns to the courtroom. Hagerman hands the judge a picture. it is a cropped version of the picture that was being discussed earlier. it shows Schwerin's arm.
Hagerman explains that the next witness will be one of Schwerin's sons. He explains to the judge some pre-testimony preparation .
The judge asks for the jury.
3:50 PM - The courtroom fills up again. Ballin and Coleman whisper to each other quietly. All the lawyers are in place. The judge is not yet back.
3:32 PM - An interesting scene...
For a brief moment, Gibbons and Ballin shake hands, share personal pleasantries, and converse about other trivial matters, two men with two very different ideas about the truth in this case.
They finish talking and leave.
The courtroom is empty.. for now... in recess.
3:30 PM - Don't know the resolution to the bench conference...
But Hagerman returns to questioning FUnte about the wrist/forearm bruise that can be seen in the picture. Funte acknowledges that it could be consistent with any number of things. He could have gotten it when he fell down.
Funte says the wound track could be consistent with Schwerin standing completely still and having the gun pointed down at him. It could be consistent with any number of things.
Hagerman is done with Funte. No re-direct.
The picture will be introduced into evidence.
Dr. Funte is done on the stand. She steps down and exits.
Court is back in recess.
Apparently it will take a few minutes to prepare a document that will be needed for the next witness to testify.
The jury, and everyone else, leaves the room.
3:25 PM - Bench conference continues...
Now it clears... Farese and Ballin are frantically searching through their binders in search of something. The lawyers return to the bench, Ballin with photos in hand. The private discussion is still on. Dr. Lisa Funte is still on the stand.
A special observer just stepped in...
District Attorney Bill Gibbons sat down on the bench three seats over from me.
Bench conference is over.
3:20 PM - Homicide is a medical term meaning the death is caused by another. In medical terminology, it does not speak to intent.
Anti-mortem injuries are those that are caused before death. Schwerin may have had some anti-mortem injuries, the contusion and the abrasion. Though the bruise may have happened post-mortem, at the time of death. It could be consistent with Schwerin hitting a pole or a person. It was on his right arm, lower forearm, high up on the wrist. It could be he backhanded a pole or a person. consistent with striking another object. It's either anti-mortem or peri-mortem.
Funte acknowledges that she visited with Ballin before trial. She believes she has located a photo of the bruise on Schwerin's upper wrist/lower forearm. She says she cannot tell the amount of force the forearm may have struck another object. She says it's a really small bruise as she points it out to Ballin in the photo. She says there is no way to tell the amount of force the forearm/wrist may have hit the other object.
Ballin and Farese converse.
Back to questioning.
Gunshot residue kit -- device used to survey different parts of the body for gunshot residue. Some are similar to wipes, some are similar to q-tips. The ME's office sends these samples to the police who may or may not send them off to be tested, after which the ME's office does not get the results.
Schwerin's clothes were examined. No soot or stipling on Schwerin's clothing. Distant shooting. However, they just visually look for soot and stipling. They don't microscopically test. Ballin is finished.
Back to the picture of the bruise on the wrist/forearm. Hagerman approaches and asks Funte to show him the bruise. He asks it be introduced into evidence. Ballin asks for a bench conference.
3:10 PM - Funte tells Schwerin's body came in clothed in black boots, a blue sweatshirt, and blue jeans. She agrees a pair of boots might make a person appear taller when standing.
Contact gunshot wound -- the muzzle of gun is against the skin. There is no stipling, just soot.
Near-contact -- Soot and stipling. Some distance between muzzle and skin. Less stipling, farther away.
Distant-gunshot -- No soot, no stipling. That could mean hundreds of yards or just four feet.
Funte agrees that four-feet is almost within striking distance. Ballin demonstrates 4-feet by walking up to Funte and asking her to stop him when he gets within four-feet.
Schwerin's BAC was .14. His vitreous, or eye fluid, was .145. Vitrious is very stable. Used to determine if the individual is continuing to drink. If the individual has stopped drinking, the alcohol content is higher in eh eye than it is in the blood. Schwerin's BAC in blood and eye are almost identical, which means he could be consuming at the same rate he metabolizing. he may have stopped drinking. She can't say exactly what was going on.
She says she can't say if Schwerin's judgement would've been impaired because she does not know him, though most individuals have some level of impairment once BAC reaches .14. Alcohol affects people differently For some it acts as a depressant, sleepiness, not as relaxed or as sharp. Stimulant, decreases your ability to make good judgments, animated, more aggressive, confrontational. It depends on the individual. .14 may cause one person to be confrontational. it may not be anything for another individual.
3 PM - Cause of death: gunshot wound to the chest. manner of death: homicide.
Ehtanol, or alcohol, present in Schwerin's body in both blood and vitreous. .14 milliliters per deciliter in the blood and .145 in the vitreous. That's almost double legal limit.
Hagrman hands Funte autopsy photos. The first is an identification photograph. Another is an orienting photo of entrance wound. A close up of the entrance wound. The a photo of the exit wound. The photos are entered into evidence. These are the only photos that will be introduced during the doctor's testimony. they are part of the autopsy file.
Funte steps down from the stand. She steps in front of the jury to better show them each photograph. The pictures are not being shown on the overhead projector. instead Hagerman has her step straight in front of the jury box to hold up each picture and then explain each picture.
To me, it seems as though Hagerman chooses this method to keep from publishing the pictures on the overhead so as not to add fuel to an already emotionally charged courtroom. that;s just a guess though. Perhaps he believes the jury will get a better view of each photo this way.
Funte goes through each of the photographs.
She's back on the stand. She explains soot and stipling..
Soot is burnt gunpowder. leaves a black deposit on the skin. Stipling is little black abrasions caused by gun powder hitting the skin. No soot or Stipling present on Schwerin's body, which means the doctors consider that a distant gunshot wound. At what point one might stop seeing soot or stipling varies and would require tests on eh gun. However, generally for a handgun, it means a distance of at least four-feet. There is no way to tell exactly how far. She says Schwerin was shot at a distance of more than four feet.
Trajectory. Funte says it does not provide doctors any idea of the position of Schwerin's body when they were shot because a person can move. Plus, the gun itself would be a variable. The gun could've been twisted, pointed up or down, any number of ways because Schwerin;s body may have been moving. She says there is no way to know the relationship between gun and body.
Hagerman is done.
Passes witness to Ballin.
2:50 PM -The medical examiner does this whole process in order to determine the cause and manner of death. The judge declares Dr. Lisa Funte an expert in the field of forensic pathology, which allows her to offer opinion testimony on the things she found during the autopsy.
She has brought the autopsy report with her to court. It includes documentation and photos.
The autopsy number is 2009-0139, a number unique to Schwerin. Schwerin was 73 inches long on the autopsy table, or 6'1", which is not exactly the same as height. Schwerin was 263-1/2 pounds. Gunshot wound to the chest. "Exit defect" on the left side of the back, which is where the bullet came out. he had an entrance wound on mid-right side of his chest. Exit wound on lower left side of the back. She points out each spot on her own body. Wound path -- Physical path of destruction of the bullet. Direction of bullet or trajectory through the body. Once it hits the body.
Funte says Schwerin's wound track is right to left, front to back, and downward. Funte says the bullet damaged Schwerin's liver and aorta. It hit one of the vertebrae in the lower back, thoracic vertebrae number 10. Then it exited. Hemothorax. There was blood in the right chest cavity. Hemoperothema. There was blood inside the abdominal cavity. Exsanguination, resulting in death. Fatal wound. His cause of death.
There was an abrasion on Schwerin's left elbow. 1/2-inch by 1-1/4 inch. Contusion on right forearm. 1/8-inch by 1/4-inch. Minor wounds. Neither was fatal.
2:38 PM - State calls Dr. Lisa Funte, an employee of the Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office. She explains her credentials for the court, typical in such cases so that the state can set up her expertise. She explains forensic pathology and how an autopsy is an important tool in forensic pathology.
She explains the external autopsy, which is like cataloguing and documenting and everything on the body. Then they remove the clothes and everything else on the body. Another external exam. Then an internal exam. Open body cavities. Document anything and everything that might indicate disease or trauma. Then move on to the head. Again, this testimony is fairly typical in cases like this one. It's an explanation of the forensic pathologists mode of operation so that the jury can understand the entire process in painstaking detail.
2:31 PM - State calls Dr. Lisa Funte
2:27 PM - Prosecutor Paul Christensen pulls down the huge projection screen on the wall in front of the jury. They will have an unobstructed view of the images that are shown. Christensen also sets up the projector that will cast those images onto the screen. I suspect the following bit of testimony will be quite graphic.
Court remains in recess.
2:23 PM - Christense returns to questioning Jensen. Jensen says Katherine Coleman was agitated. Jensen says Schwerin's son kept yelling. "She needs to be arrested too. She started it. She needs to be arrested too. She needs to be arrested too."
Jensen says Katherine Coleman then yelled back at him: "F*** you. I hope he dies. It's your fault too."
Christensen is done. Ballin steps up to cross-examine.
Jensen admits he would not remember the date this happened if Ballin hadn;t told him the date. He admits that police are taught to take notes in order to help with memory recollection. he did not write a report or take any notes in this situation.
He says he never relayed any of this arguing back and forth until today although he says he spoke to the prosecutors about it the day before yesterday. He says he didn't tell anybody about the exchange through all of 2009 or any of the months in the first half of 2010. He says he's not sure which kid was involved in the exchange but he believes it was the younger one. He has no personal knowledge of what happened before his arrival.
He says he remembers Katherine Coleman saying that it was Schwerin's fault, that he started it. He says Katherine Coleman was yelling it out loud. He says he didn't actually talk to anybody, he just overheard the exchange between Katherine Coleman and the Schwerin child.
Jensen says his testimony will not change.
Ballin is done. No re-direct.
Jensen is released from the stand.
The judge sends the jury out of the room. The prosecution needs a few minutes to prepare some equipment for the testimony of the next witness, the medical examiner.
Court is in recess.
2:13 PM - The judge and lawyers are now secretly speaking with Jensen. They're all at the front of the room and they're all whispering. The rest of the courtroom can't hear what's going on.
The discussion, now without Jensen's input, carries on.
All sides break from the bench.
The judge asks for the jury to return.
Whatever the issue, it has been resolved.
The jury is back.
2:08 PM - State calls Memphis Police Officer Erik Jensen to the stand.
Jensen was called to Panera Bread on February 6, 2009. Responded to possible shooting call with lights and sirens. Pulled onto the lot, there was a huge crowd gathering, pointing. Jensen pulled out his AR-15, an assault rifle that was assigned for shooting calls, high-risk calls. He determined this one to be a high-risk call. First came out as a possible shooting with one call. Dispatcher came back over the radio to tell them that this was a good shooting, an actual shooting with someone hurt.
On scene, people kept pointing and saying "he's over there, he's over there." Jensen and other cops approached. Jensen says Pynkala approached Coleman, got the gun, and secured the gun in the trunk of Jensen's squad car.
Christensen hands Jensen the same box, an evidence box. Jensen opens it and inside is the gun from that night.
The deputy holds up the gun for the members of the jury to see. It's unloaded, black, the slide hammer pulled back.
Jensen says he then secured the crime scene, kept people and the media back. He says Katherine Coleman was on scene still pacing and yelling at people. Jensen says he remembers some of the things she was saying, but before he can relate those things, Ballin objects because it's hearsay.
Bench conference is underway to discuss the matter.
Coleman, his reading glasses hung low on the bridge of his nose, jots down some notes.
The judge sends the jury out the room. Apparently he does not want the jury to hear what's about to happen next just yet.
Another bench conference. Jury out of the room. Jensen still on the stand.
2 PM - The state calls Memphis Police Officer Jason Pynkala to the stand.
He was called to the shooting outside the Panera Bread. Responded. Pulled up in parking lot. Saw a lot of people standing there. Everybody was pointing to one individual: Mr. Coleman.
PYnkala points out Coleman in the courtroom, in the tan colored suit. Coleman was standing with his back to the officers. The other cops held Coleman at gunpoint while Pynkala approached him slowly and secured the weapon.
Christensen hands Pynkala a box. Inside is the handgun, a Wilson Combat, .45-caliber. Pynkala says it appears to be the same one from that night. Pynkala says he took and put it in the trunk of another officers car. He says the cops started backing everyone up to secure the crime scene. Christensen is done and passes the witness.
Farese asks for a moment. He discusses matters with Ballin.
Pynkala agrees with Farese that on these scenes police are on high-alert. Pynkala agrees that anytime there is an armed party on scene, cops would put him at gunpoint for their own safety. Farese asks Pynkala to describe how Coleman was standing that night when they got there. Pynkala says Coleman was compliant and did not give the cops any problem. He never left the scene. Farese is done. No re-direct. Pynkala is done.
1:52 PM - All the lawyers are back in the room. Ballin whispers quietly with harry Coleman.
The judge returns. Court is back in session. The judge asks for the jury to be brought back in.
The jury is back.
1:44 PM - The judge is finished with Stewart. He's going away for 13.5 years.
Court is back in recess.
The deputies are allowing everyone to come back into the courtroom. Schwerin's family files into the right. Coleman's family files in to the right.
Coleman is back in the room.
1:36 PM - The judge is hearing the other matter. A man named James Stewart is pleading guilty to second-degree murder. The state recommends 13-and-a-half years. The victim is a man named Lonnie Williams. Witnesses said Stewart pulled the trigger, two gunshot wounds to the head, one to the chest.
1:30 PM - Trial is not yet back in session. The courtroom is completely empty save for some courtroom personnel. It appears as though the judge plans to clear one other matter off of his docket before trial resumes, though it's unclear because even the judge is not back yet.
12:07 PM - Lunch will wait.
State calls Nicholas Turpin to the stand. Turpin was in the parking lot at the Panera Bread on that night. He was in he parking lot talking to his girlfriend in the car. He heard the gunshot, jumped out of the car, and told his girlfriend to go home.
He says he started performing CPR on Schwerin. He says he turned around and asked Coleman to put the gun down. He says Coleman told him ""don;t threaten me, me or my wife." He says COleman reached back like he was going to get the gun out of his pocket. He says he never threatened Coleman, that nobody did, that he was trying to help. He says there were other family members around.
Turpin stands up to show the jury what Coleman did. Turpin says he was on his knees when he asked Turpin to put the gun down and that Coleman told him not to threaten me and reached behind his back and put his hand on his gun. Turpin says he got scared, that he never threatened Coleman to begin with. He says Coleman looked mad and angry.
Turpin went to the police department and talked to investigators. He identified the shooter in a photo spread that he is currently holding after prosecutor Eric Christensen had handed it to him.
The exhibit is introduced as evidence then shown to the jury.
12 NOON - Ballin hands Schwerin a photo, taken in the daytime, of the front of Panera Bread. Ballin asks him to point out which door he stepped out of when he left work. Pilgreen obliges. Ballin hands him another photo of the front of Landau Uniforms. Pilgreeen points out the spot where Katherine Coleman was laying on the ground. Ballin hands him the white board with the graphic of the parking lot. Pilgreen marks the initials 'KC' on the spot where she was laying.
There is a break in the action.
Farese, sitting next to Coleman in the courtroom, whispers something to Ballin. Ballin reviews his notes on the defense desk. Ballin returns to questioning Pilgreen. Pilgreen says he was 35 to 45 feet from the shooting. He says he was ten feet away from his vehicle and it was about 55 feet from the front of Landau. Thus, he estimates that he was about 45 feet from the shooting.
Pilgreen describes the situation as hostile, angry, chaotic.
After the shot, Pilgreen says he saw Coleman with the gun in hand. He put it in his right rear picket. He says Coleman didn't threaten anybody else. he stood off to the side running his head. He says Coleman appeared shocked.
Ballin is done. Hagerman re-directs.
Pilgreen says he ran back over to the scene immediately after the shooting, but about 30 to 40 seconds elapsed before he got back over to the scene of the shooting. He doesn't know what happened in that time period or what Mr. Coleman might have done. He says there was about 30 seconds during which he doesn;t know what was happening. Hagerman is done. Ballin re-directs.
He asks Pilgreen how far he was from the scene of the shooting. 30 to 40 feet.
Long, dramatic pause.
35-45 feet. Ballin done.
Pilgreen tells him he stopped and talked to someone, asked them what had happened. before he got to the cars.
Pilgreen is done on the stand.
11:50 AM - Prosecutor Paul Hagerman continues questioning Pilgreen. He says Schwerin' sons kept trying convince Pilgreen that they needed to try to take the gun away from Coleman. Pilgreen says he told them not to do that because nobody else needed to get hurt. he says police arrived very quickly. He says everybody pointed out Mr. Coleman to the police and 'he surrendered." Pilgreen say he spoke to police and gave a statement.
Pilgreen says he never heard Schwerin make any threats. He says all heard was the female voice say "don't vandalize the car." He says he wouldn't characterize that as a threat. he says he never heard anybody say "I'm going to kill you. He says he never heard anybody make any threats to kill anybody.
Hagerman is done.
Ballin is up fro cross-examination.
He re-iterates that he never heard any threats. When he walked out of work, the situation was already under the way. He says if there were threats, they could've been made before he showed up. If there were threats, they weren't made in Pilgreen's presence. He says he was 40-feet away when the shot was fired. There were things that could've been said that he didn't hear.
He says he called police because the argument didn't sound like a regular argument. It didn't sound like it was going to end nicely. He was worried it might turn physical. That was his perception from the brief moment he was walking by. Two people on the ground after the shooting. Schwerin and Coleman's wife. Medium length brown hair. She seemed very confused as to what was going on, in shock by what was going on. He says he doesn't know why she was on the ground, just that she was. He says Coleman was standing over her, with her, protecting her.
He says he saw Schwerin's daughter away from everything with a group of girls who he was told were her brother's girlfriends. Savannah Schwerin was behind the cars in the parking lot.
11:40 AM - Tape playing...
Pilgreen asks dispatcher for police. he tells them about a possible fight and possible vandalism about to happen outside Panera Bread on Germantown Road.
"Oh my God." His voice gets more frantic. "I think I just heard a gunshot."
The dispatcher tries to get more information.
"I swear to God, I think I just heard a gunshot!"
You can hear screaming in the background. he asks for an ambulance. The screaming in the background is out of control. More screaming. Much of the screaming becomes inaudible. Pilgreen tells the dispatcher, "we have two people on the ground." He says he doesn;t know what happened. Others were involved. Maybe 8 people. "He does not look like he is breathing.
Several times, Pilgreen has to spell Panera Bread for the dispatcher.
Someone in the background yells "F*** You."
Pilgreen tells the dispatcher the shooter is wearing a yellow shirt and blue jeans.
Screams in the background: "You shot my dad! What the f*** were you thinking!"
Pilgreen is calm on the phone, providing all the information he knows. the dispatcher keeps him on the phone. The dispatcher tells him not to put himself in any danger and that he is doing great. Pilgreen says no one else has any weapons. He tells dispatcher that the man is still breathing. Pilgreen asks someone else if anybody knows the name of the guy in the yellow shirt. No one knows. Another voice says "He shot my dad." Pilgreen tells that person that "I've been there. You don't need to do anything irrational." The tape is over. There are sobs in the courtroom on Schwerin's side.
Pilgreen says there was a lot of chaos, anger, running around, a lot of hostility after the gunshot. He says he tried to calm down the young people, to try to keep them from attacking Coleman because he didn;t want anybody else to get hurt. He says the children were sticking together, yelling and cursing. He says they were confused. He says he kept trying to keep them calm. "They were intensified by what had just happened," Pilgreen says. He says all the screaming we heard was coming from the Schwerin children and their friends. He says he didn't know any of the other people who were there.
He says he just heard the gunshot, but did not see the shooting. He approached the scene during the chaos. He says he saw Coleman with his wife when he first walked out of work for the night. he says he distinctly remembers Coleman yelling and that his wife was next to him yelling as well. He says they were closer to Panera and the other group was closer tot he Italian restaurant. he says he didn't hear Schwerin say anything either. He says he didn;t get involved until he heard, "Don't vandalize the car."
He says after the shooting, he saw the man in the darker shirt laying on the ground on eh sidewalk and the man in the yellow shirt was backing away toward Panera. He says the men were maybe 10 feet apart. He says he kept telling Schwerin's two sons to calm down and not do anything irrational. He says Katherine Coleman was on the ground, but he doesn't know why.
There is a commotion in the background.
11:28 AM - Court is back in session. The judge calls the jury to be brought back into the room.
The jury is back in the box.
The state calls Steven Pilgreen to the stand.
Pilgreen was at work at Panera Bread on February 6, 2009. He had just gotten off when this event occurred. He was by himself, planning to go home when his plans were interrupted. As he walked to his car, the yelling grabbed his attention. It looked like two separate families arguing back and forth. he says he didn't want to get involved but paid attention in case something happened. He was 10-15 feet away.
He says he heard a man say, "You need to tell him to get over here." He heard murmuring. Saw people in between cars. He kept moving toward his truck. He said he heard a woman shout, " you do not need to vandalize his vehicle." He says he then called 911 because he could tell it was going to get heated. He thought there might be a fight. There was lots of tension. he knew it was not going to end in a simple fashion. He heard arguing and bickering, but did not see any physical fight. He says he never heard anybody threaten anybody else. But he went ahead and called 911. He says he listened to the 911 tape this morning. And what he heard is how he remembers it.
Prosecutor Paul Hagerman introduces the tape into evidence.
11:20 AM - Both families have filtered back into the courtroom. All the lawyers are here too. Ballin and Coleman are standing side by side, surveying the gallery, and whispering to each other.
Trial should resume shortly with a new witness.
11:15 AM - Recess continues. It's lasting a bit longer than just ten minutes. In all likelihood, the state will call another witness and that witness will take us into lunch...
11:01 AM - Sneed says he can't calculate how many people were in the entire parking lot before the shooting. He tries to talk through how many people were in the immediate area. He estimates anywhere from 7-10 people in the immediate area.
Ballin is finished. The judge excuses Sneed from the stand.
The judge puts the court in recess for "about 10 minutes."
11 AM - Ballin hands Sneed a visual aid. It's a crime scene photo of the parking lot. He says, the best he can guess, Schwerin is shorter than him and weighs about 200 pounds. Sneed says both vehicles are both parked within their lines. Sneed asks what he's getting at. Ballin asks why he needs to know what he's getting at. Hagerman objects to the commentary. The judge tells Ballin not to be argumentative.
Ballin retrieves the white board with the diagram of the parking lot. It shows two trucks parked next to each other. He hands it to the deputy who hands it to Sneed. Ballin hands him a photo, a wide shot of the parking lot.
Ballin asks Sneed to initial the spot where he was at the time the shot was fired. Sneed obliges. his initials are on the sidewalk near one of the columns. He marks and 'X' where Schwerin was at the time. He marks the initials 'HC' in the spot where Coleman was at the time of the shooting. He puts 'C1' and 'C2" on the spots where Schwerin's two children were at the time. My view of the board is impeded, but all of the marking are on the sidewalk.
Sneed says, when he stepped in the middle of the altercation, he was contemplating taking the gun from Coleman. He says when he stepped out of the way, Coleman had a chance to step up and closer to Schwerin. He says both men were stationary until right before the shooting. He says Coleman took a step and leaned in to fire the shot. His body leaned in and the arm extended out then he drew back. Then he stepped in and extended his arm and fired the shot.
"Was he scared?" Ballin yells and points at Coleman.
"Are you a mind reader?"
"No, you asked me. It's my opinion."
Ballin asks what Sneed means when he says COleman was paranoid.
"Everything that moves," Sneed says.
Ballin says Coleman was scared. Sneed says he doesn't think Coleman was scared, that wasn't his assessment of the situation.
On the board, Sneed marks the initials 'KC' on the spot where Katherine COleman was at the time of the shooting. He draws a circle around it because "it was somewhere in hat vicinity."
10:45 AM - Sneed is still on the stand, attempting to clearly explain the logistics of the situation and exactly where he was at each point of the process. (Ed. note: a visual aid would be helpful at this point, but there isn't one).
He says he didn't ask about jumper cables when he first walked up because he "didn't want to get involved." Ballin asks, "for a man that doesn't want to get involved, you go right back toward the argument?" Sneed explains that he had to pass the cars again to get back to the Mustang. He says he didn't make the joke about asking the jumper cables until someone acknowledged him. He says he said, "I was going to ask for jumper cables, but I can see y'all are busy," and laughed.
Sneed says the two people arguing were two grown adults. Ballin asks him how tall he is. 6'2" 215 pounds, but he hasn't been to the doctor in awhile. Sneed says he walked away, but almost immediately heard a woman scream, at which point, it became a whole other ball game. He was focused, honed in, and can remember everything from that point.
He says Coleman, came up through the cars, opened the passenger side door, and banged Dutch's car. Then he imitates Dutch's reaction to the car getting banged.
Sneed says he doesn't know who screamed, but it sounded effeminate.
"How long was Mr. Coleman in the car?" Ballin asks.
"If you want to be 100% factual..." Sneed begins one of his answers.
Ballin jumps on it. "I would hope you;ve been 100% factual since the time you got on the stand. Any reason we should suspect you haven;t been?"
"A moment ago I said we could see words. You can't see words," Sneed responds.
Sneed says he did not see Coleman use a cell phone. He says he didn't jump into the middle of the matter until he saw Coleman pointing the gun. Ballin asks him if he ever thought that he might have made the situation escalate rather than de-escalate it. Sneed says he had to get into the middle of it because he's a big guy. He wasn't afraid. GIven his background and change of faith, he felt the need to get in the middle. He says he put his hands up and told Coleman to calm down, there's no need, I don't know you. Sneed told him at that point, "I'm not afraid of you. I'm not afraid of you."
10:28 AM - There is a bench conference between all four attorneys and the judge. they are whispering privately. Joseph Sneed remains on the stand.
The bench conference is over.
Leslie Ballin begins cross-examining Sneed.
Sneed tells Ballin that Schwerin was upset, but his demeanor wasn't anger. Ballin is trying to get Sneed to define upset. Sneed says Schwerin was cursing and carrying on but not out of control. Sneed agrees that when he first saw this group of people, they were arguing. There was more than one person arguing. Disagreement that involved Dutch Schwerin and the Coleman's. Schwerin's children were involved and their involvement was physical. Sneed tells Ballin two of the kids were restraining their father. Why, though, is something beyond his knowledge.
Ballin says he applauds Sneed for his change of lifestyle, but that he must ask Sneed about his convictions. Ballin runs through the previous theft of property convictions and robbery convictions that date back through 1998. He tells Ballin that he doesn't know his complete history, but is agreeable and affirmative to each of Ballin's questions about the dates and cases.Sneed has a criminal history. On the stand, his head is bowed, his forehead is wrinkled. He is not denying his past, but does not appear proud of it either. He keeps his eyeballs planted on the floor.
Ballin gets him to run through how he ended up outside in the Trinity Commons parking lot.
He says he saw the argument and approached. He says he circled the vehicles, a Hummer and Yukon Denali. He says he left the broken down black Mustang and approached the argument from the sidewalk near Panera Bread. The Mustang was parked in between Panera Bread and Germantown Parkway, as if they were trying to leave the parking lot but stalled out. There are two entrances to Panera Bread. One on the corner facing G'town Pkwy, the other facing the parking lot. Sneed says he was at Panera Bread with another Muslim brother. He left him behind when he went to help out with the Mustang.
10:15 AM - The jury is back in the courtroom. The judge greets them. They respond robustly.
The state calls Joseph Sneed to the stand.
Sneed is dressed in all white, though it's a shade of off white.
He is the man in all white. He explains his clothing. It has to do with his Muslim faith. He says he has been in court before under different circumstances. June 22, 2007, he was convicted of 2 misdemeanor theft case. He picked up 8 other misdemeanor theft cases. Three attempted aggravated robbery cases in 1998. Sneed has a criminal history.
February 6, 2009, Sneed was at Panera Bread at Trinity Commons. He says he was there because he has changed his life and is involved with religious organizations. He was at Panera Bread to pick up their old bread to bring back to his religious community. Panera does not release the bread until 9 pm.
He had a few minutes to kill so he stepped out to smoke a cigarette while still battling a cigarette addiction. he saw a Mustang with it's hood popped so he approached to offer assistance. He says the Mustang needed jumper cables so he went looking for them. he was looking for someone to ask. He says he saw a group of white people by the clothing store where the incident happened. So he went up to the group.
With his hands he explains how he walked up the side walk toward the group of people.
He says he saw a man between two vehicles and he was arguing with a woman who was behind the cars. An argument was underway. He vividly remembers words were exchanged. He says the man who got killed was laughing, the woman was aggravated. He says Dutch was acting like it was a joke.
He says he vividly remembers a man walked up in between the two vehicles. He entered the Hummer from the passenger side. He banged the door into the car of the person who got killed.
Hagerman asks Sneed if he sees the man who killed the guy who got killed in he courtroom. Sneed originally says no the locates COleman and points him out.
After the door got banged, Sneed says Dutch asked Coleman why he was banging his car. He tries to imitate how Dutch said it. He makes it sound like Dutch was light-hearted with his aggravation.
Sneed says he asked for jumper cables jokingly, but laughed because "I see you guys are busy."
He says he left to walk away. Then he heard a woman scream. he turns around and sees Coleman with a gun. he says Coleman was paranoid and on edge so he ran in front of Coleman and put his arms up and tells him look man I don't know you but think about what you're doing. he says Coleman was angry, "frothing at the mouth". he says Coleman was pointing the gun and digging forward with it.
Sneed's testimony is animated.
He says Coleman nudged him out of the way. He moved. And Coleman pulled the trigger. "BOOM!" he says.
He says Coleman was 8-10 feet from Schwerin when he pulled the trigger. Katherine Coleman fainted.
There are audible sobs in the courtroom behind me.
Sneed says he applied pressure to Schwerin's wound while they waited for paramedics because he used to be an Eagles scout. SOm, eone else's tried C, PR. He says he knew the man was dead when he urinated all over himself. He says Schwerin was gurgling out of his wound.
Sneed says Schwerin's children were mad on scene. One son was screaming, you shot my father, his fists were balled up, face read. Another girl was crying and screaming you shot my daddy. "A man's dead. What do we expect?" Sneed says.
Sneed tells Hagerman he never heard Schwerin threaten or hit Coleman. he says he never saw Coleman point the gun at Schwerin's head.
He says he never saw Coleman make any move to retreat or leave. He says he never saw Schwerin charge at Coleman. He says two of Schwerin's children were holding onto his arms when he got shot. One of the children was a boy, one was a girl. He says the man who died wasn't making any advancement on Coleman.
He says Schwerin was "happy-go-lucky."
"His life wasn't threatened, if that's what we want to know," Sneed says of Coleman.
He says Schwerin never hit or threatened COleman's wife.
Hagerman is finished.
Ballin asks to approach the bench.
9:52 AM - Court is back in session.
The judge warns the audience that there will be no outbursts or gesturing toward the lawyers or anyone else. If so, he will deal with people individually.
Both sides say they're ready. The judge calls for the jury.
9:50 AM - All four attorneys have left the room together through a door at the front of the room. They are apparently visiting the judge's chambers, though for what purpose is unclear.
9:45 AM - The courtroom is ready for trial. Dutch Schwerin's family and friends are in the courtroom, filling the gallery behind the prosecutors tab, le. Coleman's family and friends have also filtered into the courtroom, filling up the gallery behind the defense table. Again today, the courtroom is packed tonight. There are no empty seats. None. Space is at a premium.
Harry Coleman is in the courtroom. He is wearing an all white suit, white shirt, red tie, and reading glasses that hang below the bridge of his nose.
Defense Attorneys Leslie Ballin and Steve Farese are in the house, as are prosecutors Paul Hagerman and Eric Christensen.
Though court is still in recess, it shouldn't be but a matter of minutes.
9:36 AM - Court is in recess.
9:34 AM - Nick Kenney, now in the courtroom. Trial has not yet begun...
Judge Fowkles is clearing other matters from his docket before trial resumes.
The computer issues from yesterday afternoon appear to be worked out.
9:00am - Nick Kenney will be in the courtroom providing today's coverage when testimony resumes.
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