Opening arguments begin in Reginald Rome trial - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Opening arguments begin in Reginald Rome trial

The man accused of shooting and killing Shelby County Sheriff's Officer George Selby three years ago is on trial this week.

Reginald Rome is accused of first degree murder, attempted first degree murder and being a felon in possession of a handgun. Monday, he plead guilty, but only to the last charge. Now Rome's attorney is trying to convince jurors that Rome and his family are the victims.

It was the first week of December 2002, when Selby and other narcotics officers, responding to a warrant, showed up and surrounded Rome's house. That's when Rome shot Officer George Selby, ultimately killing him.

In opening arguments, prosecutors explained Rome's history, described drugs found on the property and explained that he had filed a burglary complaint the day before.

"The defense would have you believe because he was burglarized the day before, that when 13 uniformed sheriff's deputies begin to bang on his door and scream police, he believed he was being burglarized again," said Prosecutor Bobby Carter.

In fact, Rome's attorney did just that.

"Within the ten months before that happened, there was over 130 home invasion burglaries in that neighborhood," said Defense Attorney Paul Springer. "You hear a loud bang, you better believe that it well may be somebody breaking in to get you."

But prosecutors say Rome had every warning that officers, not burglars, were coming in.

Prosecutors also explained how Rome had drugs hidden around the house, including in a refrigerator, hidden in an attic, that you couldn't get to without a ladder, indicating that he may have had reason to want to keep police out.

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