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Homeowner on trial for killing trespasser

A Sherwood man charged with manslaughter for killing a teenager on his property was in court Tuesday.
A Sherwood man charged with manslaughter for killing a teenager on his property was in court Tuesday.

Larry Staley claims he accidentally shot Bryant Cross while protecting his family, but the prosecutor says he was trying to protect his property and acted recklessly.

In opening statements the prosecution said it’s very likely Bryant Cross was in Larry Staley's yard to steal but that he posed no threat to the family and that Staley shot while Cross was trying to get away.

Several witnesses were called including police officers who testified that they had previously warned Staley about shooting at people on his property.

A former city engineer who testified said Staley told him, some months before Cross's death, that police were not doing anything about theft on his property so he would. He also said that he had a plan for when thieves come back; that plan was that he and his wife would both come out with guns to confront them.

Prosecutor John Hout says Staley took the law into his own hands the night Cross died and his reckless actions cost Cross his life.

The defense contends Staley fired shots into the air from his back porch to scare the thieves away. It was the second time they'd been to his home that night and he felt his family was in danger.

John Wesley Hall, Staley's attorney, says Staley never meant to hurt anyone and never knew he had shot Cross until his body was found in the creek some 12 hours after the incident.

This trial is set to wrap up Wednesday. Staley, along with his wife and two of his children are expected to testify.
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