LAKE CHARLES, LA.(KPLC) -Testimony is well underway in the trial of Bryce Perkins--accused of second degree murder in the killing of Daniel Gueringer July 5th 2009. The jury is hearing from a long list of young people who were at the party at or around the time the fatal shot was fired. "There are 34 lay people the state expects to call many of whom are young people who found themselves at the July 4th party on West Prien Lake Road the night young marine, Daniel Gueringer, was shot."
In opening statements, prosecutor Rick Bryant pointed at Perkins and told the jury, "Daniel Gueringer's blood is on his hands." According to testimony of some at the party, this young man-- Taylor Johnson-- showed up and seemed to be looking for trouble-- making racial slurs and shoulder bumping people. Friends of Johnson's testified he called them seeking help because he thought he was going to be beaten.
Witnesses testified Bryce Perkins and Austin Rousseau showed up at the party and that Rousseau gave Perkins the gun. Some witnesses saw a flash of light-- when the single shot was fired.
A crime scene investigator testified a Colt .45 caliber handgun was found under a tool shed at Bryce Perkins' father's house.
The jury also heard from Dr. Eric Wolfe who operated on Gueringer whose severe brain injuries led to brain death.
As defense attorney Tom Lorenzi made his opening comments to the jury he told them there's no question Perkins was the one with the gun-- but that the question is, was there specific intent to kill. In other words was it second degree murder. Lorenzi described lesser offenses such as manslaughter and negligence the jury could consider and urged jurors to ultimately base their decision not on sympathy but on the law. The trial is expected to continue through the week.
All week, kplc's Theresa Schmidt will be blogging live from the courtroom with moment by moment developments. Follow the progress by going to kplc tv dot com and clicking on this story.