The re-trial of Daniel Willis continues to follow the path of his first trial which ended with a hung jury. In an attempt to prevent that from happening again Judge Albert McCaig will decide the case. There is no jury and as the trial began Tuesday Defense Attorney Robert McCabe said there would be no plea deal.
"Never from us and never from the state, and the state has consistently said,its murder or nothing, and that's absolutely what we believe as well."
Much of the testimony Wednesday came from Brent Barina, the Texas Ranger who investigated the case. According to Barina , at the beginning Willis did everything right Feb 16, 2014 when he arrived at a violent domestic disturbance call North of Bastrop. Dispatchers told Willis a woman inside the house, identified as Amy Vela, was on the phone with 911 reporting a struggle over a gun and the crisis was escalating.
Amy Vela: "He loaded the gun, he loaded the gun, he loaded the gun."
Dispatcher: "He loaded the gun, ok."
The last report Willis got was that a gunman was coming to the front door. Moments later Willis fired two quick shots killing Yevett Smith.
"We just want some justice for our sister, for our family, have a little bit of closure because its been two years now and its something that just lingers over you," said Smith's sister Yvonne Williams.
Ranger Barina testified law enforcement officers at times get inaccurate information. While the Ranger does not dispute what dispatchers reported, he said Willis should have held his fire and first confirmed the threat was real. McCabe disagrees.
"Becuase officers have to react in fractions of a second, life and death decisions are made in a fraction of a second, Willis acted reasonably, rationally and calmly and made a conscincious decision to stop a threat he perceived, that action was ," said McCabe.
Yvette Smith was in the house that night trying to calm down her boyfriend's son, Chris Thomas.
She eventually was able to get a shotgun away from Thomas ... But that information was never relayed to Willis.
"If he knew a gun was put down he would not have shot."
What Willis thought has also been called into question. During his interview with investigators he said he didn't originally view Smith as a threat when she came to the front door but later claimed he spotted what looked like a gun and that is why he decided to fire. The gunshot struck Smith in the side hitting an artery. A gun was found of the floor near Smith's body but it was never fingerprinted to determine if she ever had it in her posession.
Late Wednesday the former dispatcher at the Sheriffs's Office testified. Hannah Gardner Perry told the jJudge when she saw the dash cam video she noticed that Willis was not wearing glasses. Perry testified it was her understanding that Willis needed glasses because he had night blindness. Attorney McCabe tells FOX 7 the accusation is complete fiction.