QUITMAN, Texas (KLTV) - The defense has wrapped its first day of calling witnesses. Jason Walters’ defense took over after the prosecution rested Friday morning.
Walters is on trial for first-degree murder in the shooting death of Chris Griffin, 18, at the Mineola EZ Mart.
One of the witnesses called by the defense was Walters’ daughter, who was a teenager at the time of the shooting. She was sitting inside her father’s car at the store the night of the shooting.
She testified she remembered seeing her father standing in line and exchanging words with a man who had walked in. We now know that man was Dietrich Flournoy. She told the jury her father dropped the ice cream off with her, opened the glove box, grabbed his gun, and put it in his waistband.
She told the jury her father told her someone had a problem and that everything would be okay. She testified she didn’t see the shooting, but did hear the gunshot.
Also on the stand Friday, Joseph Williams. He and Griffin were at the store together to buy drinks with Williams’ girlfriend. The defense questioned Williams about what they called “secret hand signals.” Williams told them: “never in this event did I signal anybody.” He denied there was ever a planned effort to attack Walters.
Defense Attorney Cynthia Stevens Kent asked Williams if he or anyone else that night had a gun. He responded, "you think if somebody had a gun, Walters would be sitting here?”
Friday marked the fourth day of testimony in this case. The defense said earlier this week they’re not arguing whether Walters shot Griffin, but instead why. They’re claiming self-defense, while the state says the facts speak for themselves.
PREVIOUS UPDATE AT MIDDAY
The defense is now presenting its case in the murder trial of a Mineola man who shot and killed a teen outside a convenience store.
The state rested its case Friday morning in the trial against Jason Walters. He’s on trial for fatally shooting Chris Griffin, 18, at the Mineola EZ Mart in June 2014.
The first witness called for the defense was the nurse who cared for Walters’ special needs son at the time of the shooting.
The defense also called a woman who told the jury Walters was her supervisor at a tire distribution warehouse in 2014. The prosecution objected to the witness citing relevance.
The judge ruled the woman’s testimony was irrelevant, and she is expected to be called to the stand at a later date.
Walters’ daughter who was in the car the night Griffin was killed, also testified Friday morning. She told the jury she remembered her dad coming to the car to drop the ice cream off.
She told the jury he grabbed the gun out of the glove compartment and put in his waistband. She remembers her dad mentioning that someone had a problem and “everything would be okay.” She testified she remembers hearing a pop and a woman running to the car and grabbing the keys.
On Thursday, jurors watched store surveillance video from the night of the shooting. The actual shooting happened just off-camera.
The defense is not disputing that Walters shot and killed Griffin, but that he did so in self-defense.
Friday marked the fourth day of testimony in the case.