Murder suspect to testify today

Brian Martin

TUSCUMBIA — Brian Martin repeatedly yelled “you better let me go” to his father, Donice “BooBoo” Scott. Each time, Scott responded, “Shoot me.”

The exchange between father and son ended with the sound of a gunshot that killed Scott.

“Oh Brian, no, no, no,” Scott yelled.

The confrontation was recorded on Martin’s cellphone, which prosecutors played to jurors Wednesday during Martin’s murder trial on the second day of testimony.

The prosecution rested at the end of the day, and the defense will begin presenting its case at 9 a.m. today in presiding Colbert County Circuit Court Judge Hal Hughston’s courtroom.

Martin admits shooting Scott outside his father’s 1011 E. Second St. residence, but claims it was in self-defense after Scott attacked him with a sword.

Attorney Billy Underwood, who, along with attorney Jeff Barksdale, is representing Martin, said his client will testify on his own behalf today.

“There’s no way we wouldn’t claim self-defense without putting him on the stand,” Underwood said.

Martin used his cellphone to record the incident, which took place May 11, 2011, when he drove up to Scott’s home after the men agreed Scott would pay money he owed his son.

In the recording, Martin is heard yelling at his father to let him go after the shooting and added, “I told you, now I’ve got to call the (expletive) cops.” He then said, “Grab a (expletive) sword and poke it at me.”

Martin called 911 at 9:19 p.m., according to testimony. The prosecution played a recording of that call, which included Martin performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Scott.

“He grabbed me with the sword and stuck me; tried to stick me with the sword and I shot him,” Martin told the operator during the call.

He later said, “He hit me with it, and that’s when I popped him and he threw that sword.”

While performing CPR, a tearful Martin yelled, “Dad, dad! Why did he do that?”

Emergency medical workers tried to save Scott but he died from the single gunshot wound to the chest.

Prosecutors also shared text messages between Martin and Scott on the night of the shooting. One message from Martin at 8:39 p.m. demanded Scott pay him $1,100, “nothing more, nothing less,” according to testimony from Larry Rice, a forensics examiner and investigator with the Alabama Office of Prosecution Services.

At 9:02 p.m. on the night of the shooting, Martin texted Scott, stating, “I’m at your place.”

During questioning from Assistant District Attorney Angela Hulsey, Rice said there was no message indicating Martin asked if he could come over to get the money and no message from Scott inviting him to come over.

During questioning by Colbert District Attorney Bryce Graham, Tuscumbia police investigator Stuart Setliff said he interviewed Martin, who told him his father pulled a sword during their confrontation. The bullet in the gun Martin had in his possession became “racked” into the chamber.

Setliff also testified he did not see any holes in Martin’s shirt or other indications of a puncture. There also was no sign of injury on Martin.

Setliff also said the sword was found close to the front door, about 20 feet from Scott’s body. In addition, he said it takes 18 pounds of pressure to rack the gun used to shoot Scott, which is a Glock 23. The investigator said it takes 5.9 pounds of pressure to pull the trigger of the gun.

During cross-examination by Underwood, Setliff said he did not take into evidence a T-shirt that Martin was wearing under his shirt the night of the shooting.

Setliff also said Scott’s body was rolled over, away from the direction of the sword, during efforts to resuscitate him.

Colbert County Coroner Carlton Utley testified there was $2,567 in Scott’s possession when he examined the body.

Tuscumbia police dispatcher Tammy Holt testified that Martin went to the Police Department between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on the day of the shooting and told an investigator he needed someone to go with him to get some property. Martin later said he didn’t need anyone to go with him, and left.

Barksdale said he was pleased with Wednesday’s testimony.

“The 911 recording of Brian Martin crying was very compelling and gut-wrenching,” Barksdale said. “You could tell how aggrieved he was that his father had been hurt.”

Bernie Delinski can be reached at 256-740-5739 or bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.

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