The latest on Daniel Willis re-trial

Testimony wrapped up Wednesday afternoon with a critical assessment from Defense Attorney Robert McCabe.

"This case is all about political prosecution, the county was looking for an out, they found an out with a special prosecutor, they found a bias investigator and they found a patsy in deputy Daniel Willis they can blame all their problems on."

The family of Yvette Smith had an equally hard assessment.

"It's not that we are upset about the evidence because really they are not showings us any new evidence, it's that her name is being dragged rough the mud, she is the victims here, Daniel Willis is not a victim, he is on trial for murder, and I wish people would understand when I look at the news it looks like he is the victim, he is not the victim. My sister is gone and she is not going to come back, " said Yvonne Smith.

Two years ago Daniel Willis was sent to a violent domestic disturbance call north of Bastrop. After arriving dispatchers warned that a woman inside the house had called 911 and said there was a struggle over a loaded shotgun. The last report Willis got was that a gunman was at the front door.

Investigators say Yvette Smith went to the door after getting a shotgun away from Chris Thomas -her boyfriend's son. The gun was put on a table, but Willis was never  told about that. Willis claims he fired his rifle after seeing a shiny object that looked like a gun.

David Blake, an analyst for the defense testified Tuesday a bright object, which he spotted in a crime scene picture, could be what Willis saw. The bright spot was actually plastic covering a table reflecting in the light.

Wednesday, Dr. Rahn Bailey, an expert in criminal psychology, said Willis clearly responded to a perceived threat.

"I think we have shown, at least the probability that Daniel Willis did in fact see something shiny like a gun, but the doctor testified even if he didn't, saw what he perceived to be a gun, his actions were still reasonable," said Dr. Bailey.

Bailey's formal opinion is that Daniel Willis saw a gun and reacted in self defense. As a result, Bailey went on to conclude that the decision to use deadly force met the legal standard of being reasonable.

But Prosecutor Forrest Sanderson challenged Bailey's conclusions. 

He believes Willis was irresponsible because he didn't take cover and should have waited to confirm whether or not Smith even had a gun.  At the beginning of the trial Sanderson said the state concedes that Willis thought he saw a gun. Wednesday, Sanderson clarified that he did not mean that he agrees with the claim that Willis perceived there was a gun. Defense Attorney McCabe found Sandrson's clarified position to be confusing.

The prosecution has one final rebuttal witness they may call.

After that, closing arguments are expected to take place Thursday around noon.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

WATCH FOX 7 NEWS LIVE

FOX 7 News streams at the following times (all times Central):


Monday - Friday

4:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.

12 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

9 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Saturday

6 a.m. - 8 a.m.

6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday

6 a.m. - 8 a.m.

5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

9 p.m. to 10 p.m.



Schedule subject to change in the event of network sports coverage.

We also stream press conferences and other breaking news coverage from time to time. When we are not in a live newscast, you will see replays of the most recent broadcast.

To enter full screen Mode click the button.

For closed captioning, click on the button while in full screen mode.

Desktop/tablet users: To choose the stream's video quality, click on the button (while in full screen mode) and choose from 432p or 270p.

Mobile users:The video quality default is to your phone's settings.

Please allow time for buffering. If the stream stalls, refresh your browser. Thanks for watching

Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories