DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - Defense attorneys admit Joel Bailey shot and killed his father and nearly killed his mother. But they say it was not murder because Bailey, who was 32 years old at the time, was insane and did not know right from wrong.
As testimony got underway prosecutors also showed jurors photos of Bailey's parents after he shot them, other crime scene photos and photos of the place where Bailey allegedly dumped the murder weapon and a bag of shells.
Earlier, prosecutors and defense attorneys outlined for the jury what they expect to prove in Bailey's trial. He's charged with the First Degree Murder of his father, Eugene Bailey, and Attempted First Degree Murder of his mother, Dorothy Bailey, who was shot in the head and narrowly escaped death. It happened about 10 p.m. Sunday, September 9, 2007 at the family's home in Dry Creek.
Prosecutor Richard Morton outlined details of the killing and said it was a miracle Bailey's mother survived the shooting. Morton described the murder weapon as a 20 gauge shot gun, which had to be hand pumped unlike a semi-automatic weapon. He said Bailey loaded at least two rounds into the gun and shot his father in the head and then went to his mother in the kitchen where he shot her. Morton says somehow Mrs. Bailey ducked and the shot blew off the side of her face. According to Morton, after Mrs. Bailey hit the floor, she saw her son run from the house and somehow managed to call her sister and get help. Mrs. Bailey, who is sitting in the courtroom, is to be a witness in the trial.
Morton also described how Joel Bailey left the scene and dumped the gun and shells into Dry Creek from a bridge that crosses the creek in the Longville area. Morton says Bailey drove to Mississippi where he ran out of gas and hid out for three days until he was arrested by police there.
Morton explained to jurors the dispute is whether Bailey was insane at the time of the crime and whether he knew right from wrong. The state says yes Bailey knew right from wrong, the defense says he did not.
Defense Attorney Sam Jones outlined Bailey's lengthy history of mental illness and says they will put on experts that say Bailey was insane when the crime was committed. Jones described Bailey's history saying he was diagnosed with various disorders including schizophrenia and that there is extensive documentation of episodes in which Bailey apparently saw people who weren't there, heard voices and even spoke in various voices-- one of which is described as a CIA voice that told him to make various maps.
And, according to testimony, deputies had previously been called to the Bailey residence and warned by Joel Bailey that he feared he might harm or kill his parents.
Testimony is now underway and jurors have seen a video of the crime scene.
Watch later editions of 7News and check kplctv.com for updates from the trial.