LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The bench trial of a Lufkin man charged with murder in connection to the March 2017 shooting death of Ronnie Roberts started Tuesday morning.
Timothy Lemond White, 37, appeared before District Judge Bob Inselmann and entered a not guilty plea for the charge.
In opening remarks, the prosecutor told the judge that he will hear from several witnesses including two women who heard the gunshot on the night of March 23, 2017. He said that evidence will be presented that will show that blood was found on White’s shirt.
The defense chose to defer the opening arguments.
The victim’s sister-in-law testified and told the judge that when she heard the gunshot, she ran and found Roberts lying on the ground. During cross-examination, the sister in law said that the victim and White were best friends and she did not actually see gunfire but heard the gunshot. She also said that she had been drinking.
The victim’s fiancé testified next and told the judge that she was outside on the porch when she heard the gunshot and immediately ran. She said that she saw a tall figure running to the fence. She told the judge that the tall figure was Tim White.
The woman said she talked to a 911 operator and while on the phone she questioned White and asked him what happened to Roberts. She told the judge that White said the victim was playing with a gun and shot himself.
According to the death inquest form obtained by East Texas News, Roberts, 46, of Lufkin, died as a result of a shotgun wound on his left side.
A previous story stated that White was taken into custody moments after Lufkin police officers arrived at the Highpointe Plaza apartments off of North John Redditt Drive on March 23, 2017. Witnesses told officers they saw White throw a rifle over a nearby fence shortly after the shots were fired.
Lufkin Police released the 911 call. In the call, the caller stated to dispatch that the person that was dead was killed by accident. In the call a woman in the background is also heard screaming that Roberts was shot and killed. A man is also screaming, “I didn’t do it."
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