Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Redic, left, leads Timothy Lynn Smith from the Henderson County Judicial Complex Tuesday during a break. Smith is on trial for the shooting death of 32-year-old Johnnie Carl Morrison.

The murder trial of Timothy Lynn Smith continued Wednesday and included the testimony of two people who witnessed the shooting death of 32-year-old Johnnie Carl Morrison.

Smith, a former Gun Barrel City resident, is on trial for Morrison’s May 10 murder. His trial is being held in 392nd District Judge Carter Tarrance’s court.

Smith is accused of shooting Morrison in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun outside Morrison’s home on Pine Bloom Blvd. in Gun Barrel City.

At the time of the shooting, Smith was riding in a van driven by Gun Barrel City resident William Weaver. Morrison was shot after striking the van’s passenger side with an aluminum baseball bat.

Prosecuting attorney John Scott said Tuesday the incident occurred over drug money that Morrison owed Smith. Defense attorney John Key, however, is attempting to paint his client as a man who acted in self-defense.

The court heard from three witnesses Tuesday — Judy Burley, a Gun Barrel City Police Department investigator; Nathan Hall, a witness to the shooting; and a 17-year-old female who also witnessed the shooting.

Burley, who responded to the scene on May 10, testified that Weaver’s van was found to have brain matter on the passenger side. A nearby Dodge pickup also had traces of blood on the rear fender, she said.

She said an aluminum baseball bat found near Morrison’s body also showed signs of tool markings and traces of blood and black paint. The paint matched that on Weaver’s van, she said.

Burley said she retrieved evidence with the help of Weaver, who turned himself in to Gun Barrel City police around 6 p.m., roughly three hours after the shooting. Following Weaver’s directions, Burley said she recovered an empty 12-gauge slug casing in a Conoco gas station dumpster. Smith’s discarded gun case was also found beside a retaining wall near Cedar Creek Reservoir.

Weaver told Burley that Smith threw the shotgun into the reservoir from a dock at 201 Seaside Drive. The weapon was later recovered by police divers.

The shotgun, a 12-gauge pump-action Winchester, was presented as evidence Wednesday.

While cross-examining Burley, Key accused Morrison of committing aggravated assault through terror by striking the van with the bat. He also argued that Morrison posed a potentially lethal threat to Smith’s life.

“Would it have put you in imminent fear of bodily injury if you’d been seated there when the bat hit that door?” Key asked Burley.

“For myself, yes,” Burley answered.

Key pointed out that police officers are allowed to fire on subjects with deadly weapons who approach within 15 feet.

“And citizens can also defend themselves,” he said. “It’s based on common sense and judgment that when someone comes that close to you with a deadly weapon, it’s time to respond.”

The prosecution then called on a now 17-year-old female who was inside the van during the shooting. At the time, she was 16.

The teen said she was acquainted with Weaver as a source of drugs and admitted to the past use of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. She said the last time she used drugs was March 6, five days before the shooting.

The teen testified that, on the day of the shooting, her uncle had given her money and asked her to purchase methamphetamine. The teen called Weaver and met him in the parking lot of Brookshire’s in Mabank, where she gave him money for the drugs.

The two then drove to get the drugs from Smith, she said. After picking up Smith, they drove to a nearby park, where they encountered Morrison, Hall and Tommy Smith — the defendant’s cousin.

The teen said Timothy Smith confronted Morrison about the drug money. Smith and Weaver then followed Morrison back to his mother’s house on Pine Bloom.

On the way to the house, the teen said, Timothy Smith left the van and retrieved a shotgun from the trunk of a car.

During the confrontation, the teen said Morrison struck the passenger door with the bat. She said that Smith then fired a warning shot over Morrison’s head, causing Morrison to step back. The teen said Morrison stopped exhibiting hostile behavior, but was shot in the head moments later.

Through his cross examination, Key attempted to expose inconsistencies in the teen’s testimony. She was interviewed by Sgt. Jerry Moore of the Gun Barrel City Police Department the day after the shooting, on March 11. A recording of the interview, which lasted about 20 minutes, was played in court, with transcripts provided for jurors.

On the tape, the teen claimed she’d heard three shots fired instead of two.

Hall, who witnessed the shooting, disputed the teen’s earlier claims of multiple shots fired.

“I only heard one,” he said.

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