Victim's Fiance Testifies in Miss Savannah Murder Trial - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/08/05

Victim's Fiance Testifies in Miss Savannah Murder Trial

Rachel Hall took the stand today. Rachel Hall took the stand today.

There was some very interesting testimony this afternoon in the Nikki Redmond murder trial. That trial--capturing national attention--is being held in the Chatham County courthouse, where already the prosecution and defense are painting distinctly different pictures of the former Miss Savannah.

Shortly after the jury was sworn in, proceedings began as the state's attorney Anne Elmore spoke to jurors. She told them that Nikki Redmond was a woman living two very different lives, one of a beauty queen, the other a jealous lover.

"State's evidence will show a pattern of conduct leading to the conclusion of shooting and killing [Kevin Shorter]," she said. "Because if she couldn't have him, no woman would."

She also said the state could prove Redmond acted maliciously and was tired of Shorter using her. "She'd been runner-up once, fourth at that," Elmore told jurors. "When she became Miss Savannah, she wasn't going to be runner-up this time."

Defense attorney Michael Schiavone painted a much different picture of his client as an innocent, law-abiding citizen who found herself in an abusive relationship.

"He assaulted Nikki on previous occasions," he told jurors. "Dragged her across the ground, hit her so hard it knocked out a diamond earring, slapped her off the back of a car."

He also said the defense could prove the only reason Redmond had a gun was to protect herself from a stalker. "The irony of this is that Kevin Shorter is the one that recommended that she buy this weapon," Schiavone said. "Why? Because Kevin Shorter owned a bunch of weapons."

After opening arguments, the first person to take the stand today was Shorter's fiance, Rachel Hall, who said that Kevin had warned her about Nikki and said that Nikki was coming to kill her.

"He told me not to open the door because she was on the way," she testified.

She also said there was a confrontation which led Redmond to grab her gun. "She told Kevin that she was going to get him, she has too much respect for me to shoot him in front of me."

Then the state produced a tape of the 911 call in which Hall tearfully told the dispatcher Shorter had been shot.

Another piece of information which came out today is that Kevin Shorter's body was filled with illegal substances. Schiavone says that he can prove Shorter was on drugs and that he even called Redmond's mother in a fit of rage, telling her he was on his way to Hall's house to confront Redmond.

Court adjourned about 5:30pm today. More testimony is expected tomorrow, and WTOC will continue to follow this case.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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