Wounded deputy testifies in first day of Calmer trial

Calmer trial begins in Forsyth

After months of hearings, the jury trial for Christopher Calmer is finally underway.

The 18 jurors brought in from Upson County listened to opening statements from prosecutor Elizabeth Bobbitt and Calmer’s defense attorney Gabrielle Amber Pittman.

According to the prosecutor, Calmer threatened to commit suicide while brandishing his father’s 0.40 caliber Taurus handgun in front of his family. 

“He was too cowardly to kill himself” Bobbit said.

The defense doesn't deny that Calmer was the one who killed Norris, but they argued he was out of his mind that day.   

Pittman told jurors that Calmer was molested when he was younger, and that led to a lifetime of problems.  She also told jurors that he suffered from chronic neck and back pain.  

“This wasn’t murder. This was untreated mental illness,” Pittman said.

She also told the jury Calmer suffered from bipolar disorder and complex regional pain syndrome. 

The state then called its first witness to the stand, Calmer's uncle Tommie McCrae.

He made the 911 call that requested deputies be sent to Calmer’s house since he was acting suicidal.

He told the jury that in the days leading up to the shooting, Calmer was agitated like he had never seen before.

The 911 call played to jurors in the courtroom said that Calmer wanted to shoot at some cops so they would kill him.

Deputy Michael Norris and Deputy Jeff Wilson responded to that call for help

When they arrived, Calmer started shooting as they approached. The state alleges it was about 15 shots.

Wilson was the second witness called by District Attorney Jonathan Adams.

He testified that he locked eyes with Calmer on the scene during the shootout and could “see the rage in his eyes.”

The district attorney showed the jury the dash camera footage of the incident, and in it you can see Wilson fall back after allegedly being shot by Calmer.

They then showed the jury the uniform Wilson was wearing the day he was shot and where the bullets struck him -- in the stomach, leg, and buttocks. 

The trial is expected to last two weeks. If Calmer is convicted, he could receive the death penalty.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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