Witnesses heard in Jefferson City murder trial

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JEFFERSON CITY - A trial started Wednesday for a Jefferson City who man police say confessed to a murder a year ago

Paris Alexander-Henderson confessed to shooting 32-year-old Bryant Sturkey on April 25, 2015. 

Wednesday the jury was selected, there were opening statements and two witnesses took the stand. 

The most emotional testimony of the day was that of Sturkey's girlfriend, 24-year-old Jamie Harrison. In tears she gave her account of what happened when she saw Alexander-Henderson shoot Sturkey. According to her account, the issue began when Harrison was arguing with a neighbor. 

She went back home, and Sturkey asked her what happened, but she said nothing to prevent conflict. She said later Alexander-Henderson showed up angrily to her house. She claimed she had never seen or heard of him before. Sturkey went outside to see what he wanted, and a conversation lead to Alexander-Henderson taking out his gun. 

Sturkey then ran away, and Harrison said she heard three shots before she saw Sturkey laying on the ground. 

The defense questioned Harrison's positive portrayal of Sturkey. 

She claimed he wasn't armed, but the defense said police have reason to believe Harrison removed a gun from Sturkey's body and placed it in their home before police arrived. 

Defense attorneys also suggested Harrison take more responsibility for the initial argument with the neighbor that lead to the confrontation ending Sturkey's life. 

Another witness also contradicted Harrison's story. A woman who was part of the initial confrontation between Harrison and the neighbor said she saw Sturkey get physical with Alexander-Henderson before shots were fired. She also said she saw Harrison take something off of Sturkey's body following the shooting. The witness later confessed to the jury she had been drinking the day of the shooting and she wasn't sure of some of the details. 

The trial continues Thursday, May 5 at the Cole County Circuit Court. Alexander-Henderson has four charges against him, three for murder. 

 

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