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Testimony begins in John Spooner trial

Brass Milled Gavel By walknboston (Flickr: Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Brass Milled Gavel By walknboston (Flickr: Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A jury in Milwaukee watched a video Tuesday of John Spooner arguing with a 13-year-old neighbor, before shooting him to death.

The 76-year-old Spooner is on trial for killing young Darius Simmons in May of 2012, claiming that the boy broke into the man’s home and stole his guns.

Prosecutors showed jurors a video of the disturbance, and then the shooting – all taken by Spooner’s private surveillance camera.

The defense does not argue that Spooner killed Simmons. But lawyer Franklyn Gimbel says Spooner didn’t mean it – and there’s not enough evidence to support his charge of first-degree intentional homicide.

Also, Gimbel claims Spooner was insane and had pneumonia at the time of the slaying.

Spooner is white and Simmons is black. A couple years ago, Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH organization wanted hate crime charges filed, which never happened.

Also, the judge reminded jurors that this case is different from the one involving George Zimmerman – the Florida man acquitted of killing an unarmed black teen. 

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