TUSCUMBIA — In his sometimes emotional testimony Thursday, Brian Lansing Martin said the shot that killed his father, Donice “Boo Boo” Scott, was fired while he and his father were fighting over the pistol Martin pulled after Scott pressed a sword against his stomach.
Martin, 32, is being tried in Colbert County Circuit Court for murder in connection with Scott’s death outside his 1011 E. Second St. residence May 11, 2011.
Scott, 52, was pronounced dead at Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield. Martin was arrested in August 2011 after a grand jury indicted him on a murder charge.
Martin took the stand at 11 a.m. Thursday and testified for about an hour as he described the events that led to the shooting, which occurred shortly after 9 p.m.
The testimony became more intense after lunch when Martin and defense attorney Billy Underwood re-enacted the struggle that took place just before Scott was shot.
According to testimony, Martin had been eating dinner with a friend when he received a text message from Scott stating Martin could come to Scott’s home to get the money Scott owed him. According to earlier testimony, Martin had been at Scott’s residence earlier in the day and the two had argued about $1,120 Martin was owed.
In front of the jury box, Martin portrayed his father while Underwood portrayed Martin. With his hand on Underwood’s neck, Martin used a flexible rod to demonstrate how Scott pressed a 28-inch samurai sword into his stomach.
Martin said he grabbed the sword to keep his father from “thrusting it” into his stomach.
At one point, Martin testified, he took one hand off the sword and pulled a .40-caliber Glock pistol from a holster on his belt. When Scott saw the pistol, he dropped the sword and grabbed the pistol. As they fought, the pistol fired and the bullet struck Scott in the chest, Martin said.
Martin testified the struggle began in the doorway of the residence and ended about 10-feet outside on the patio.
Underwood asked Martin what he saw in his father’s eyes.
“I’d never seen that look in his eyes before,” Martin said, his voice beginning to quaver.
“He fought me for my gun and it went off,” Martin said. “I did not think he was shot because of all the commotion.”
Scott took a couple of steps forward before collapsing, Martin said.
Colbert County District Attorney Byrce Graham Jr. began his cross examination just before 2:30 p.m.
Graham asked Martin how he could grab a sword that was sticking him in the stomach and not receive a cut. Graham noted there were no cuts on Martin’s hands, nor were there any tears on his shirt or cuts to his stomach.
“Why would Boo Boo Scott pull a sword on you when he could knock out a bear?” Graham asked, referencing previous testimony about Scott fighting a bear in his younger days.
He also questioned how Martin kept a man as strong as Scott was being portrayed by the defense from stabbing him with the sword.
Graham also questioned the difference in Martin’s demeanor on the stand Thursday and his demeanor when he contacted a Colbert County 911 operator after the shooting.
“I didn’t think he was shot at that time,” Martin said, again starting to cry.
Graham also referenced a statement Martin made immediately after the shooting. Graham said Martin uttered an expletive and said, “Now I have to call the (expletive) cops.” Graham said Martin sounded calm for someone who had just shot his father.
Martin’s voice became louder when he responded to the district attorney’s questions.
“You don’t realize how quickly this happened,” Martin said. “I didn’t realize he’d been hit. I didn’t know what to think.”
The defense called Tuscumbia police investigator Stuart Setliff before resting their case just before 5 p.m.
Setliff testified that Scott had $2,500 on him at the time of his death.
The prosecution and defense will deliver their closing arguments today when the trial resumes at 9 a.m. in Circuit Judge Hal Hughston’s courtroom.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.