07/15/09 — Testimony, evidence complete in baseball game murder charge

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Testimony, evidence complete in baseball game murder charge

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on July 15, 2009 1:46 PM

Testimony and the presentation of evidence have ended in the murder trial of a man accused of killing a neighbor after an argument about his child's street baseball game.

Timothy Tramel Vaughn, 37, of East Walnut Street, faces a charge of first-degree murder in a trial expected to continue today.

He is accused of shooting James Anwar Brewington, 29, of Waters Street, after an argument that stemmed from an accident in a children's street baseball game.

Evidence is closed in the case, and closing arguments from Assistant District Attorney Matt Delbridge and defense attorney James K. Antinore were expected beginning at 10 a.m. today.

State Medical Examiner John D. Butts testified he had performed the autopsy on Brewington after the June 14 incident.

The medical examiner said the multiple gunshots that killed Brewington were delivered at close range.

Delbridge asked the medical examiner which wound he would describe as being close contact.

"A wound to the collarbone area of the chest, all had powder residue, sooty material -- indicative that the weapon was of close proximity to the body," Butts testified.

Butts also testified that Brewington was legally too intoxicated to drive, with a blood- alcohol content of 0.15 percent.

Also testifying was Megan Brewington, the wife of the shooting victim.

Mrs. Brewington described the day of the baseball game, when Vaughn's son accidentally hit Brewington's son in the head with an aluminum baseball bat.

The shooting victim's wife said she observed a "huge knot" on her son's head after the incident.

The defense attorney, Antinore, decided not to call Vaughn to the stand to testify in his own defense. Antinore did not present evidence or call witnesses in the trial.

Antinore did present Judge Phyllis Gorham with a motion to dismiss the charge on the basis that a charge of first-degree murder was not warranted.

"Mr. Brewington became the agressor" in the incident, Antinore told the judge. "I think there's an issue of fact of what the homicide constitutes."

Antinore said he did not believe the shooting was premeditated, which is one of the qualifying factors to charge someone with first-degree murder, according to state law.

Delbridge disagreed with Antinore's motion.

"When somebody goes out to kill another human being ... the best way to do that is to have a deadly weapon in your possession, which the defendant did," the assistant district attorney said.

The judge denied the motion to dismiss the charge of first-degree murder.

Jurors were expected to begin deliberations after the attorneys presented their closing arguments this morning.