LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After thestate and the defense gave their closing arguments Tuesday morning, an AngelinaCounty jury deliberated for several hours and found a New Waverly man not guiltyof murdering Terry Adams at a graduation party in Hudson in 2010.
Timothy Malone'sre-trail started last week in Judge Paul E. White's 159th Judicial DistrictCourt, and is now in its second week. Malone, a 37-year-old former prison guardis accused of killing Adams, 47. Arguing self defense, Malone pleaded notguilty to the charge.
During a November 2010 trial, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on acount of murder for Malone. They found him guilty of a separate count ofaggravated assault on Joel Thomas Gresham, 45.
District Attorney Art Bauereiss told jurors that he had to prove to themthat Malone committed murder. He urged them to view the evidence through theeyes of a reasonable person.
"It's obvious from the evidencethat this is exactly what happened; he shot two unarmed men," Bauereisssaid.
Bauereiss said the evidenceshows Malone's intent was to kill, and that because of the multiple shot fired,he knew his actions would cause this result. The district attorney told thejury to review the laws concerning self defense.
"He must reasonably believe it's immediatelynecessary to use force," Bauereiss said.
Bauereiss described the scene for the jury by saying,"The defendant is drinking with a gun in his hand and using profanity, andTerry Adams acted as the hero."
Adams and Gresham were trying to keep Malone awayfrom the party guests, Bauereiss said. He added that Adams' force wasn'tunlawful: it was a natural reaction.
In his closing arguments, defense attorney Bryan Cantrellasked the jury to look at the situation through Malone's eyes. He said thatMalone had been teased by the men and was the subject of their jokes.
Cantrell told the jury that Malone's motorcycle washis lifeline and was worried about what the mean would do to his bike.
"He didn't threaten anyone; he just wanted toleave," Cantrell said.
Cantrell told the jury to look at what happened inthat room as self defense.
"He never lifted that weapon and said, 'Guysyou better back up.' He never lifted the gun," Cantrell said.
Cantrell said the Adams wasn't the hero because inGresham's previous testimony Adams was in Malone's face.
"You don't get in someone's face to calmsomebody down," Cantrell told the jurors.
During Monday's testimony, Malone told jurors thathe confronted Adams and Gresham because he thought people were messing with hismotorcycle. He said after they went back inside the house, the mood changed.
.Malone stated that he was worried.
"My concern was getting out of this house alive," Malone saidMonday.
Malone said that once he was inside the house with the two men, Gresham andAdams assaulted him and he believes that he was stabbed with either ascrewdriver or set of keys.
"He said I was a dead man," Malone said during his time on thestand.
District Attorney Art Bauereiss asked Malone if he saw a weapon.
"No, I never saw one," Malone said.
"While we were struggling, he began to take the gun and that's when I hadto pull the trigger," Malone said.
"You had to?" Bauereiss asked.
"Yes," Malone said.