Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Surprise testimony in murder trial

After the first time Michelle Hall visited her husband's grave, she reportedly told Mathis that she'd become "very angry" and "dug her heels" into the dirt because she was "very, very mad at him for leaving her here to deal with everything."

Both of Michelle Hall's ex-husbands -- Steve Davis and Rusty Hart -- testified about instances of physical violence at the hands of the defendant.

Davis described an instance in February 2001 in which Michelle physically attacked him for forgetting to bring home ice for his daughter's first birthday party. He described a similar incident in spring 2001. That attack was corroborated by another witness, Andy Binion.

Hart testified that Michelle found out he was acting romantic toward another woman -- Britt's first wife -- and she punched him in the nose. After their divorce, according to Hart, Michelle hit him in the back of his head with a cordless phone while he was at their home retrieving his belongings.

Thursday began with testimony from Lt. John Lewis of the Coweta County Sheriff's Office. He testified that the night of the shooting, Michelle Hall told him that her husband shot at her and then killed himself. Lewis examined the victim's body and concluded that the gunshot to his chest was "inconsistent with a suicide wound." In fact, he later concluded from the soot ring on the victim's shirt that it was a close contact gunshot, probably fired from 18-24 inches away.