Though homicide defendant Jordan Marshall Spraggins has pleaded responsible to fatally capturing Steven Seth Pharris, he stated throughout his sentencing listening to Wednesday that he didn’t know what occurred to the gun.
Pharris, 26, of Abilene was discovered at about 11 pm Sept. 21, 2020, at an Interstate 20 crash website close to the Fulwiler Highway exit. He died from gunshot wounds to his arm, neck and torso.
Spraggins examined for about two hours within the 350th District Court docket on the Taylor County Courthouse. Decide Thomas Wheeler is presiding over the jury trial that started Tuesday afternoon.
Eight protection witnesses took the stand Wednesday afternoon, together with an uncle and sister. The testimony illustrated that whereas the Spraggins’ marriage had issues by means of the years, the defendant was a great employee and father.
One supervisor said that though he knew Spraggins had admitted to the homicide, he would rent him once more due to his work ethic and the incident being out of character.
When requested by protection lawyer Keith Amos why he shot Pharris, the defendant bowed his head and did not reply.
Throughout different questioning, Spraggins was delicate spoken as he recounted his relationship along with his spouse, his work historical past and being a father.
He said he had not seen his 5 youngsters since August 2020, shortly after the spouse left him on the finish of July and some weeks earlier than the capturing.
Someday after the couple separated, Spraggins stated he was instructed by Abilene police who responded to a disturbance between the 2 to go away the residence. He took an SUV, and a pickup truck he owned with the spouse remained together with her.
Spraggins stated that after a gathering with Pharris with the sufferer’s mom and associates current, he thought Pharris had agreed to steer clear of the spouse. Through the assembly, the 2 males fought bodily.
Spraggins additionally admitted to going to his former home and climbing right into a window, to seek out the spouse and Pharris in mattress. The defendant stated that when he went again to his SUV, the spouse pulled a gun on him. Spraggins acquired Pharris pushed the lady apart ultimately and Spraggins drove away.
The defendant denied testimony from witnesses Tuesday that they might sit in his automobile within the parking zone the place Pharris labored.
Spraggins stated that on the night time of the homicide he was simply driving to Abilene, headed within the route of his former home. However he occurred to see his truck, which was now pushed by Pharris on the interstate.
Throughout a cross examination by Assistant District Lawyer Dan Joiner, Spraggins stated he had a gun within the entrance passenger seat. He purchased the unregistered gun from folks he did not know as a result of he had been receiving threatening messages, he testified.
Police haven’t recovered the weapon.
In that second he noticed his truck with Pharris’s arm hanging out whereas smoking a cigarette, Spraggins stated he felt rage, terror and betrayal. He stated he did not know if Pharris noticed him earlier than the capturing.
Throughout an earlier testimony, Spraggins stated the 2 males had been associates earlier than the spouse left Spraggins. However, Spraggins could not tolerate working with him anymore on the truck cease and stop.
“If I might commerce locations with Seth, I’d,” Spraggins stated towards the top of his time on the stand.
Providing to surrender his life reveals that he is aware of what he did was heinous, retorted Joiner.
“Honest sufficient,” Spraggins replied.
Contradicting police testimony
Spraggins’s testimony of coincidentally seeing the pickup truck on the interstate contradicted statements from the stand Wednesday morning by Abilene Police Det. Tim Pipe, who was the lead investigator.
Pipe stated as soon as the sufferer was recognized, Spraggins turned a suspect as a result of officers had been known as about incidents involving him, Pharris and Spraggins’ spouse.
Video from a enterprise close to the Tye truck cease the place Spraggins and Pharris had been as soon as co-workers confirmed Pharris’s truck being adopted by a big SUV believed to be owned by Spraggins because the truck entered the interstate after work, Pipe examined.
The truck title had been modified from the Spraggins couple to only the spouse’s title, Pipe examined.
Spraggins had known as Abilene police a couple of hours after the crash, saying he was notified that somebody he had labored with had been within the wreck and attempting to get extra data, Pipe stated.
Police had a face-to-face interview with Spraggins about 5 am the day after the crash. Spraggins was cooperative and gave an alibi of his whereabouts, saying that his SUV had a leak and could not be pushed to Abilene.
He additionally allowed police to take a look at the SUV, his residence and his cellphone. Police later obtained warrants for a extra detailed search of his cellphone. Video and cellphone information contradicted Spraggins’s alibi, Pipe stated.
Detectives obtained an arrest warrant and interviewed Spraggins on the Abilene police station. He ultimately admitted to capturing Pharris, Pipe stated.
Throughout her testimony for the prosecution Wednesday morning, Pharris’s mom stated her son was appreciated by everyone and was a peacemaker. She acquired she suggested her son to not see the spouse.
Pharris’s mom additionally had blocked the lady’s quantity from the sufferer’s cellphone, however the lady gave him one other one.
The sentencing trial continues Thursday.
Laura Gutschke is a basic project reporter and meals columnist and manages on-line content material for the Reporter-Information. In the event you admire regionally pushed information, you may help native journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.
This text initially appeared on Abilene Reporter-Information: Interstate 20 homicide defendant cannot clarify what occurred to the gun