published Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Chattanooga: Friends of victim testify about events surrounding shooting

  • photo
    Jamaal Byrd talks with one of his lawyers, Ryan Hanzelik, during the opening of his trial Tuesday. Byrd is accused of shooting and killing Terrance Etchison at the Wilcox Boulevard Kanku's in 2012.
    Photo by Jake Daniels.
    enlarge photo

Two friends of the victim in a 2010 shooting testified this morning that he had no weapon when killed.

Video footage played during the trial shows Jamaal Byrd, 32, shot and killed Terrance Etchison at the Wilcox Boulevard Kanku's gas station on Feb. 27, 2010.

Spencer McPherson, 18, and Charvez Harris, 21, testified today that neither saw Etchison with a weapon before the shooting.

Byrd's attorneys claim he fired in self-defense after Etchison threatened him inside the gas station.

Prosecutors say that Byrd left the store, retrieved and loaded his revolver and waited for Etchison to approach him before shooting him once in the chest and driving away.

But defense attorneys have picked at prosecution witnesses' recollections of the night of the shooting and whether a possible weapon was taken off of Etchison's body before police arrived.

Today is the second day of the trial, which both sides expect to last until at least Thursday.

For more see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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