Miss Savannah Murder Trial Continues - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/09/05

Miss Savannah Murder Trial Continues

Defense attorney Michael Schiavone questions the first witness, Rachel Hall. Defense attorney Michael Schiavone questions the first witness, Rachel Hall.

Former Miss Savannah Nikki Redmond is on trial for killing her boyfriend. Opening arguments started yesterday morning. District attorney Anne Elmore says the state can prove Redmond not only intended, but planned to kill Kevin Shorter.

Redmond's attorney, Michael Schiavone, says shorter planned to hurt Redmond after she confronted his fiance,  Rachel Hall.

As the testimony wore on, we got a much clearer picture of what happened at the time of the shooting and the defense laid the groundwork for its case, saying Redmond acted in self-defense.

Schiavone went to work quickly painting Kevin Shorter as a man prone to violence with a short temper:

Michael Schiavone: "You remember telling me that he physically assaulted you? Aggravated assault, when he punched you?"

Rachel Hall: "Yes."

Michael Schiavone: "You remember telling me that?"

Rachel Hall: "Yes."

Michael Schiavone: "Is that true?"

Rachel Hall: "Yes."

Schiavone suggested that the day of the shooting, Shorter was intimidating with his cursing and yelling, and he posed a direct threat to Redmond.

Hall, however, maintained throughout her testimony that he never made any violent moves toward either of them before the shot rang out and the defendant drove away.

"Before she pulled off, what did Kevin call out, immediately after having been shot?" Anne Elmore asked her.

"That crazy B shot me. Rachel, call 911," testified Hall.

After Hall's testimony, there was a bit of a surprise. From day one, investigators have theorized that Redmond's shot ricocheted off a car before hitting Shorter, but forensics expert Chris Robinson says the bullet did not appear consistent with a ricochet, leaving the door open for prosecutors to say she aimed for him instead of trying to fire a warning shot.

"There's no evidence that's consistent with this bullet being a ricochet," said Robinson. "It's as perfect as it was when it came from the cartridge case. The only difference is it has the rifling marks from the barrel on the bullet."

The prosecution later conceded it is possible the bullet ricocheted.

The court recessed around 5:30pm and they'll get back to testimony this morning.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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