Larry Joe Smith, 68, is on trial in the Smith County 114th District Court for the shooting of Sandra Greenhaw in the chest in front of his Whitehouse home on March 16.
Smith faces five to 99 years or life in prison if convicted, Smith County Assistant District Attorney Jacob Putnam said.
Several Smith County deputies told jurors Tuesday that Smith had said his home was dark that night and that he and Ms. Greenhaw had been drinking. He said that he could not tell if the person coming through his window was male or female. Prosecutors displayed photos in court that showed Ms. Greenhaw lying outside of Smith's window, with blood on her shirt and on the pavement around her from a gunshot wound to the chest.
“I read him his Miranda rights and asked him (Smith) what happened,” Deputy Matt Christian said. “He said he saw someone breaking through his window and shot him,” Christian said. The deputy told jurors that Smith's stories didn't match up because Ms. Greenhaw's body was still outside.
Defense attorney Melvin Thompson asked Christian if Smith realized who he had shot. The deputy responded that Smith had asked to see the body. Then the deputy handcuffed Smith and took him in for questioning, he said.
The couple broke up in 2005, but continued to see each other and have drinks together often.
“Their relationship could be good and bad and violent. “He set her clothes on fire and busted out her windshield,” Ms. Tharpe told jurors.
Smith had a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit the night he allegedly shot Ms. Greenhaw, prosecutors said. A bottle of empty vodka and numerous empty beer cans were found in Smith's home, according to the prosecution.
Defense attorney LaJuanda Lacy said Smith cooperated with authorities when they came to his home, leaving his weapon outside and walking toward them with his hands up.
“Smith shot the person — he said he had the right to protect himself and his property,” Ms. Lacy said.
She added there was no evidence to suggest there had been any kind of disagreement between the couple before the shooting.
“The table was where it should be, and nothing was out of place,” Ms. Lacy told jurors. “Larry Smith was cooperative and allowed police to search his house.”
She added that the window screen and the window sill were never dusted for fingerprints to determine if someone came through the window.
Testimony continues today.