Groveton Murder Trial Starts - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/20/05 - Trinity County

Groveton Murder Trial Starts

by Ramonica R. Jones

Groveton Police Chief Ralph Jester took Bezaaley Jackson's statement on February 12th - the night after a shooting that left Johnny Scurlock dead.

In the 12-minute taped interview, Jackson said he picked up Scurlock from his home in Pennington after the two had been drinking together. They drove to a friend's house and a half hour later, the two went to Jackson's home in Groveton.

A friend of both men says he still can't believe the night turned deadly.

"It was just a freaky situation to me," said George Denman. "It's just something that got out of hand. They were both friends and I didn't understand it. It's just something that went a little bit too far."

They argued outside the whole time about several things, including money. During the fight, Jackson claimed he pulled out a gun and Scurlock grabbed it. After a struggle, the gun went off twice, killing Scurlock.

After the shooting, Jackson called 911 and told the dispatcher "I shot a man." He told police he'd been carrying the gun in his back pocket all night, even when he went to Scurlock's home - a gun Scurlock never knew about.

Jackson's lawyer says his client felt threatened by Scurlock that night because Scurlock was bigger and taller than Jackson.

The trial continues Wednesday morning. If convicted, Jackson faces up to life in prison.

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