Trial continues for man accused of killing DeKalb Co. officers - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Trial continues for man accused of killing two DeKalb County police officers

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William Woodard William Woodard
Ricky Bryant Jr. and Eric Barker Ricky Bryant Jr. and Eric Barker

Opening statements were made Tuesday in what could be a lengthy trial for a man accused of shooting and killing two DeKalb County police officers.

William Woodard is accused of killing officers Ricky Bryant Jr. and Eric Barker in the parking lot of an apartment complex in 2008. 

The prosecution said the officers, who were working an off-duty security job, were approaching a car at the Glenwood Gardens Apartments when Woodard got out and started shooting, killing both officers.

The prosecutor, Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary, reenacted the shootings in dramatic fashion, using a fake gun to demonstrate how Woodard shot the officers.

"He grabs his gun, jams it quickly in the stomach of the officer. The barrel, because of the height difference, goes right under the officer's vest. The defendant fires and severs the aorta from Officer Bryant's heart," said Geary.

In previous hearings, one of Woodard's friends testified that the suspect had been smoking weed, and that a fight broke out with the officers when he jerked away while being frisked.  The witness said Woodard starting shooting and the officers went running, but didn't make it very far.

On the other side, the defense said Woodard was just acting in self defense against two officers who were beating him.

"These are two police officers who used excessive actions and brutality. Officer Barker's death and Officer Bryant's death is a result of their own hands," said Woodard's attorney Dwight Thomas.

Defense witnesses have testified that Woodard was not smoking weed and the officers were well known in the area for being aggressive and for harassing people.

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