Suspect takes stand in Hudson murder trial

Timothy Malone mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Timothy Malone mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – On the witness stand, Timothy Malone admits to killing one man and shooting another, but he says it was self-defense.

Malone watched as prosecutors finished making their case against him.

What he says he did in self-defense, the prosecution calls a brutal murder.

"It's definitely tough because I know Terry so well and I know he was not an aggressive person," said Wendy Bryan. "I know he was a peaceful person and I know that he loved people and so to hear things that suggest otherwise, it really bothers me."

Malone does admit he killed 47-year-old Terry Adams and shot Joel Gresham at the graduation party, but that he did it because they were attacking him.

"If you're trying to defend yourself, why is there not a shot to stop somebody and then that be it," said Adams. "Why just violently shoot somebody over and over and over?"

Testimony revealed Adams died from eight gunshot wounds.

Officers that responded to the scene recounted their findings--a trail of blood and spent rounds.

Malone's mother later told jurors her son's "left eye was just humongous, red puffy, with a cut over it."

The prosecution asked Malone's mother if she took any pictures of the injury she says she saw on her son shortly after the incident. She said she didn't take any photographs because they weren't allowed where she was visiting her son inside the jail.

Malone told jurors he carries a gun because there are a lot of sick people out there and that night, party guests made him believe they were going to steal his motorcycle.

"What I want people to understand is that the defense is under no obligation whatsoever to tell the truth," said Bryan.

Malone's attorney asked him if he ever intended to kill Adams. Malone responded "No."

"I just know he will pay for this one way or another, if he never spends another day in jail, he will suffer because he knows in his mind and in his heart what he did and I believe that God will punish him one way or another, he will suffer, he will pay," Bryan said tearfully.

Editor's note: Holley Nees and Whitney Grunder provided details at from the courtroom Monday. Below is their account.

A police officer testified Thursday that there was blood trailing through a Hudson home the night a man was killed and another was shot.

Testimony continued in a New Waverly man's murder trial with Hudson Police Officer Reuben Kimball explaining what he found when he arrived at a May 2010 crime scene.

Malone, 34, pleaded not guilty to killing Terry William Adams, 47, of Hudson, and shooting Joel Thomas Gresham Jr., 41, of Hudson in the leg at a graduation party gone wrong.

Malone is being tried for one count of murder and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

In a past bond reduction hearing, Malone admitted to firing the shots that killed Adams and injured Gresham, but said it was in self-defense.  The defense maintains that story saying Malone felt threatened at the May gathering.

This case is the first murder case for Hudson Police, since the force was created about 10 years ago.

Kimball explained when he arrived on the scene, "From that room, going toward the front door, there were several rooms that possessed blood."

Angelina County First Assistant District Attorney Art Bauereiss asked Kimball to identify a photograph of a firearm. Kimball explained the gun was in a "locked and ready position."

Kimball testified he found a motorcycle helmet and jacket at the Scoggins Lane address where the shooting happened.

"This is the jacket I recall seeing Mr. Malone in that evening," he said when Bauereiss pulled a jacket out of evidence. Kimball said he recovered it off the back of a chair at the Scoggins Lane residence.

Bauereiss questioned Kimball about what the law says regarding unlawfully carrying a handgun and asked him about traveling with a handgun.

The state asked Kimball to clarify robbery and theft.

"For a robbery to be committed you would have to use force, or threat of force," Kimball explained. He went on to say theft is more specific than just taking something from someone.

Bauereiss asked Kimball about Crystal Rita's demeanor the night he responded to the scene. Rita is Gresham's live-in girlfriend.  It was her graduation party guests were celebrating that May 2010 night. Kimball said it appeared Rita was really upset by what she had just seen.

The Hudson officer also testified his wife was at the Scoggins Lane home earlier that night as a guest at the party. He said when he arrived on the scene, Rita told him she woke up to the sound of gunshots.

"I'm a patrol officer, I was there to secure the scene," Kimball later told Cantrell.

Bauereiss questioned Kimball about what he remembered of Rita the night of the incident. He said she was "distraught as one would be if losing a friend or family member."

Kimball said he initially asked Rita, "What's going on here?" He said all the information he had initially was what dispatchers had told him and a brief phone call that had said something had happened.

Kimball told Cantrell at that time, Rita didn't say she didn't see anything, she just said "she didn't know what was going on."

Kimball said based on their initial conversation, Rita had woken up to the sound of gunshots. Bauereiss clarified, "and had the presence of mind to call you."

Hudson Police Department Lt. Jimmy Casper took the stand later Thursday morning to testify about the night he responded to the Hudson crime scene. Casper said he was woken up with the news there had been a shooting in Hudson and one man had been killed.

Casper walked the jury through the locations where spent rounds were found.

The Hudson officer said he later heard information in Malone's bond hearing months after the incident that compelled him to clarify some statements, so he talked with witnesses again.

Cantrell asked Casper if by reading the autopsy of Adams he could tell if all the rounds were down from the left side to the right side.

Bauereiss asked Casper if he was at the scene when the shooting occurred. Casper said he was not. The prosecution asked Casper if he was an eyewitness to the shooting. He responded he was not.

The state mentioned the defense was trying to get Casper to talk about the possible position of the shooter's gun when the rounds were fired.

"Was he [Cantrell] inviting you to speculate at things," asked Bauereiss. "Yes," said Casper.

"There was a lot of blood on the floor," Casper said. He went on to say there was blood trailing from the door to the bedroom.

Cantrell asked Casper whose responsibility it is to prove the case. The officer said it was his and the state's.

Casper clarified the speculation he was referring to was when he was discussing the angle and the distance of the barrel.

Kimball was recalled to the stand Thursday afternoon. He confirmed the clothes Bauereiss showed him were Adams' clothes he retrieved from the hospital the night of his death.

The state rested Thursday afternoon around 1:30 p.m.

The defense called their first witness, Malone's mother, Cecilia Malone to discuss her visit with her son a few days after the incident at the Angelina County Jail. Cantrell showed the mother a picture of her son.

Bauereiss asked her about where the picture was taken. She said she wasn't sure, Cantrell had given it to her, but she did not take it at the jail.

"His left eye was just humongous, red puffy, with a cut over it," she described. She said her son's eye was swollen shut and it eventually turned black and his face was also "scratchy."

Cecilia Malone testified she never complained to jail staff when she saw her son in such a condition.

Bauereiss began asking the mother questions about her love for her son.

"You would want to do anything you could to help him," Bauereiss stated. She agreed.

Bauereiss showed Malone her son's medical records and pointed out that the defendant only complained of high blood sugar when he was taken to the hospital after the incident.

Malone's mother said her son is sensitive about being teased about his motorcycle because he's spent a lot of money on it and it's his mode of transportation.

Bauereiss asked the woman if someone unexpectedly pulled out a gun at her house, would Malone defend her.

"I can take care of myself," she said.

Cantrell asked her if her son would ever want to run to the emergency room because of a black eye. She said never.

The defense called Henry Cockrell to the stand. He was at the party the night of the alleged incident.

Cockrell pointed out Malone in the courtroom and said when he came to the door he was asking who was on his motorcycle with his gun in-hand pointed toward the ground.

Cockrell said he heard Adams say "put the [dang] gun away." He said Gresham and Adams were kind of pushing Malone in the house.

"I could hear there was some fussing going on in the house," Cockrell said. He explained he could hear arguing, but not what was being said or who was talking.

"[I] heard about five gunshots back to back," he said. Cockrell said he heard about two more gunshots after the initial five. Then, he said he saw someone ride off on the motorcycle.

Bauereiss asked him if he was shy and would rather not be testifying. Cockrell said that was correct.

Cockrell said he recalled the defendant staggering a little bit the night of the gathering and he had been drinking that night.

The witness testified he heard two men at the party joking with Malone about taking his motorcycle, but they were kidding.

He said he thought the trucks engine revving did sound a little bit like Malone's motorcycle. Cockrell also told jurors he never saw Adams or Gresham with a gun in their hand.

The witness went on to explain the first expletive came from the defendant's mouth, not from Adams or Gresham.

Cockrell said he never saw Malone threaten anyone.

The court is in recess until 4 p.m.

Timothy Malone was called to the stand.

"Take us and start walking us through where you were at when you heard the noise," said Cantrell.

"I believe they were stealing my motorcycle so I got up and removed my firearm from the holster."

Malone described the argument that ensued outside.

"There was an argument outside earlier and some guys wanted to take my bike. It got a little heated and Joel wanted me to come inside," Malone said.

Malone told Cantrell he went outside and removed everything from his bike, including medications.

"Why did you travel with a weapon?" Cantrell asked.

"Because there are a lot of sick people out there," Malone said.

"How do you know that?" Cantrell asked.

Malone said it's because of his job and he worked around several offenders.

"Were you intending to use your weapon that night?" Cantrell asked.

"No," Malone said.

"You go to the front door, what happened?" Cantrell asked.

"I opened up the front door and I said who is messing with my [expletive] bike, pardon my language," Malone said.

"Someone said to me, 'What the hell are you doing out here?'" Malone said. "I didn't tell you to come out here, get back in the house."

"First, I looked around, saw nobody was on my bike, backed up and closed the door," Malone said. "Then I remembered I had given my keys up earlier that evening and the guy that has my keys is outside, and that's Joel. So I opened the door back up and stood on the front porch and said 'give me my keys.'"

"I see Terry Adams coming around from my right, coming at me," he continued. "Joel is saying 'Get back in the [expletive] house. Terry is saying 'is that a gun? Do you have a gun?' Terry comes and he pushes me. I try to keep my arm down, my gun down facing down."

"I'm getting pushed backward into the house. Joel goes to my left, Terry is still up on me and he ends up going to my right. I told Joel, 'give me my [expletive] keys' and Terry came out and said 'what are you doing with the gun?' At this point Joel starts walking off behind me, now they've got me separated and I'm feeling very vulnerable at this time."

"Have you raised the gun at anybody?" Cantrell asked.

"No," Malone said.

"Terry comes out and he's pushing at me and I'm trying to keep him at arm's length," Malone said. "I'm trying to make sure I don't get pushed over anything, like a table or a chair."

"At that point Terry gave up he backed up and Joel came up on me and he had something in his left hand, he had something," Malone said. "I thought it was keys. He said, 'I'll kill you' but he keeps his left hand by his side. He's coming up with his right arm, kind of pushing, hitting me, hitting me. I'm trying to keep him at arm's length ... Joel swung at me. I knew he was going to slap me, punch me or something. And then I struck him back. I think it knocked him off-balance. That's when Terry said 'you are dead,' and came at me, and he climbed on me and jumped on me."

"Tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury what Terry did," Cantrell said.

"At this point I wasn't paying attention to any words that were coming at me," Malone said. "They were coming at me hard and fast. "

"At this point I tuned everything out."

"Was your back to the bed in that small bedroom?" Cantrell asked.

"His right hand was on my left shoulder and I'm thinking he's stabbing me with something," Malone said.

Malone's attorney demonstrated the physical confrontation with Malone for the jury.

"His arm is moving down and he gets his hand on the barrel of my gun," Malone said. "Now I know I'm in trouble, he's starting to pull the gun away with me. He adjusts his hands so his fingers were more on my fingers. Then he started really pulling at the gun. At this point I'm about to lose the gun."

"So what do you do?" Cantrell asked.

"I pull the trigger," Malone said. "Boom."

"Single shot first?" Cantrell asked.

"Yes," Malone said.

"What does he do?" Cantrell asked.

"He tenses up on me," Malone said. "That's when I started pulling the trigger as fast as he can."

"Does his body fall?" Cantrell asked.

"He's kind of collapsing," Malone said, crying.

"Did you see Terry fall?" Cantrell asked.

"I saw Terry fall back," Malone said. "That's when I heard steps coming up behind me."

"Did you hear any language or anything like that?" Cantrell asked.

"No, I heard nothing," Malone said. "I turned, I still had my gun down at my side, I turned and I fired. I saw an individual coming up at me like he was going to side-tackle at me. I fired a shot, and he kept coming so I fired again and he dropped. He fell to my right."

"I started to walk toward the other room," Malone said. "I think it was the master bedroom. Then I stopped and I realized I still had my medicine in the back room along with my eyeglasses."

"I saw Joel, he was holding up what I assumed was the keys," Malone said. "The last shot I fired locked the slide to the very back."

"So you know you're empty?" Cantrell asked.

"I know I'm empty," Malone said. "In my mind I'd been attacked by two guys, they just kept coming at me. I didn't know what's next…what's behind that door. I retrieved the key from Joel and proceeded to walk outside."

"I walked to the front door and that's when I heard a female voice screaming behind me," Malone said. "Get out! Get out! Get out! So I left and nobody was behind me. That's when I walked to my bike."

"Did you have a black eye?" Cantrell asked.

"Yes," Malone said.

"Pretty much the whole left side of my face was swollen, and my shoulder," Cantrell said.

"Did you really run from cops?" Cantrell asked.

"No," Malone said. "I saw Rita and said 'hey the cops are here.'"

"Did you ever intend to kill him? Was that something you wanted to do?" Cantrell asked.

"No," Malone said.

"Can you tell me whether or not you ever got into a firing position?" Cantrell asked.

"No, I never got into a firing position," Malone said. "I hate to say it but I think Terry aimed the first shot for me."

"When I was about to lose it, that's when I pulled the trigger. I didn't think I actually hit him because I just pulled the trigger."

"Are those tears for Mr. Gresham or Mr. Adams or for you?" Bauereiss asked in cross-examination.

"They're for Mr. Gresham," Malone said.

"You were engaged with such contact with Terry Adams, that you had to pull the trigger, you had to shoot him," said Bauereiss.

Malone's alcohol consumption was discussed. He was asked how much he drank the night of the party.

"I consumed quite a bit of that alcohol, four beers, a little bit of Patron," Malone said.

"Were you kind of a little bit interested in Terry Adams' wife, Stephanie?" Bauereiss asked.

"I didn't know they were connected at the time," Malone said.

"You had a liking for her, correct?" Bauereiss asked.

"Yes I did," Malone said.

"There were some efforts made to calm you down, saying, 'look this is a joke,'" said Bauereiss.

"I was never told it was a joke," Malone said.

"So the testimony…they made that up to embellish their testimony?" Bauereiss asked. "Can we agree that you were wrong about all of that, looking back….Nobody was messing with your bike…so yes, or no, looking back, you were wrong?"

"No," Malone said.

"You said that you were a jailer," Bauereiss said. "When a prisoner is booked into the jail, do they do some sort of medical assessment?"

"If he appears to be beat up, yes, the jailer would advise the officer bringing him in that the officer can't accept him at that time until it's cleared by medical," Malone said.

"You were taken to the hospital for diabetes?" Bauereiss asked.

"Yes," Malone said.

"Otherwise, what would your medical assessment say?" Bauereiss asked.

"I had scratches, the left side of my face was swollen," Malone said. "I was cut."

Then Bauereiss asked Malone if his book-in picture accurately depicted his condition.

"Yes," said Malone.

"Holding up just the picture, can you point to where there's evidence of injury on you?" Bauereiss asked.

"The left side of my face, you can see a cut on my eyelid," Malone said.

"You don't think that picture looks remarkably like you do right now?" Bauereiss asked.

"Yes," Malone said.

Bauereiss asked  him if he contacted the sheriff's department when he heard the loud noises from inside the house. Malone said he did not.

"So just as before, looking back, can we agree that your wrong?" Bauereiss asked.

"No," Malone said.

"Do you understand sir, since you've been wrong on two occasions, they're not the problem, you are?" asked Bauereiss.

"No," Malone said.

"Was it necessary to shoot Terry Adams in the head?" Bauereiss asked.

"It was not intentional," Malone said.

Bauereiss asked Malone why he didn't take his motorcycle helmet with him when he left that night.

Malone said it was because he left in a hurry.

"Why'd you have to get out of there really fast?" Bauereiss asked. "You were the only one with the gun."

"I didn't know how many people were going to impact me that night," Malone said.

"These people were out having a good time, and now they were all out to get you?" Bauereiss asked.

"I didn't know them very well," Malone said.

"Let's get a little closer to the truth," Bauereiss said. "You don't remember the events of that night do you."

"I remember some of them," Malone said.

Bauereiss referred to a woman in the audience.

"She's been to the jail a number of times to visit you," Bauereiss said. "And remember you talked about your blood alcohol content, tobacco, you thought you had a couple of cans. And at one point you said to her, I got arrested, I didn't remember anything. It's all coming back in little flashes, little pictures. I can't really say too much because they record these conversations. That was your voice?"

"Yes," Malone said.

"So back 31 days after the shooting, she's your girlfriend and you're telling her you didn't remember," Bauereiss said.

"Yes," Malone said.

"Would you agree with me that memory would be closer to the events rather than further away?" Bauereiss asked.

"Yes," Malone said.

"So now, you're telling the jury, you remember all of these details," Bauereiss said.

"Not all but most," Malone said.

©2010 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.