Clay Co. Murder Trial: Testimony Begins - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Clay Co. Murder Trial: Testimony Begins

UPDATE:

Friday, August 9th

Prosecutors called forth numerous experts from the scientific field Friday to testify for the State. A Forensic Anthropologist, Dentist, Forensic Scientist and DNA Analyst who all took part in examining victim Jose Ramirez's body took to the witness stand.  

Each person was able to form their own opinion based on their expertise on who the remains belonged to and what circumstances surrounded the death.

District Attorney Paige Williams presented the jury with Ramirez's dental x-rays from before and after his death as well as the pictures of how his body was found. Ramirez's body was excavated from a shallow grave which officials say was too small for his body size.

According to the Forensic Anthropologist, Ramirez's skull had an apparent bullet hole going in from the front and out the back.

Testimonies will resume again next Tuesday, August 13th at 9am.

Thursday, August 8th

Day 2 of testimony wrapped up today just after 4:30pm at the Clay County Courthouse Thursday evening. Key witnesses were called to the stand including Stephanie Corral, who is a friend of Justin Green that is also charged with tampering with evidence. She will receive immunity during this trial which means if she is truthful during this case, what she says will not affect her case that set for later this year.

Other witnesses who testified include Texas Ranger Marshall Thomas who extradited Green back to Texas from Arizona, Fort Sill National Bank record keeper and a DNA Forensic Analyst.

Jurors also viewed an interrogation video of Green by Ranger Thomas and a Clay Countty Sheriff Deputy.

Day 3 of testimony is expected to resume again at 9am Friday morning.

A jury of six men and six women will decide the fate of Justin Wayne Green, the first of four people accused in a murder and cover in Clay County.

The first full day of court took place on Wednesday, with opening arguments from the defense and prosecution. District Attorney Paige Williams told jurors to look at the defendant, Justin Wayne Green's actions before, during and after the murder.

The defense team painted a picture of Green and the victim, Jose Ramirez, as best friends who met at Ft. Sill and then liver together in Petrolia. Defense attorney Dustin Nimz said Ramirez became increasingly violent, and eventually Green had enough, telling his friend he had to move out. As he was addressing the jury, Nimz took ok the role of Ramirez, pointing at Green and saying, I'm going to kill you, and you're entire family. That's when the defense claims Ramirez also reached for a gun, and Green shot him in self defense.

Seven witnesses took the stand for the prosecution on Wednesday. A gun dealer from Lawton told the court Ramirez obtained 17 weapons in six months through his shop, valued at more than $20,000.

The most length, and still incomplete, testimony of the day came from a Texas Ranger who was at the scene of the body recovery, collecting evidence, and who was also part of the team that brought Green back to Texas to stand trial.

The Ranger testified about determining the trajectory of the bullets, pointing out there were three bullet holes in the wall where Ramirez was, and none where Green was allegedly standing. He also testified about finding trace evidence of blood in different spots throughout the home, including what appeared to be a large pool of blood in the garage. The Ranger did a practical demonstration for the jury, spreading a blood sample on a carpet sample, and spraying it with chemicals.

The jury also looked at pictures of the skeletal remains found on Green's property, some jurors took their time examining the photos, while others quickly passed them along. The defense team also displayed a pair of shorts, with the "Army" logo on them, found on the skeleton.

Jury selection began around 11:30 on Tuesday morning in 97th District Court.  Attorneys for both the prosecution and defense questioned potential jurors for more than six hours, working to determine whether any had bias toward the state or the defendant.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Henry questioned potential jurors for about two hours. He asked if any of them knew the defendant or any of his family. More than 10 people said they at least knew who the defendant was, and some said it would affect their ability to hear the evidence.

Green's defense team said there's no question a man is dead, but can the state prove Green committed murder or did he act in self defense? Nimz then spent time questioning potential jurors about self defense and whether they could consider deadly force an acceptable form of self defense. He also asked if they would be alright with Green exercising his right not to testify.

Green is accused of killing Jose Ramirez. Ramirez was reported missing in 2007. The Clay County Sheriff's Office and Texas Rangers found his remains in February of 2012, buried in a shallow grave at a property on FM 2332 just southeast of Petrolia. Law enforcement said the two men met each other while stationed at Ft. Sill in Lawton.

Affidavits filed in this case state Green's mother, sister and a friend all tried to cover up the murder. They are all charged with tampering with evidence.

Newschannel 6 will be in the courtroom throughout this trial. You can follow minute by minute updates on our Live Courtroom Twitter feed featured on the homepage of Newschannel6now.com. Court will resume Wednesday at 9 in the morning.

Jack Lamson, Newschannel 6

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