Friday, October 14, 2011

Beaumont, TX: Port Neches woman claims self defense in murder trial

The Prosecution began calling witnesses Thursday in the murder trial of a Port Neches woman charged in the shooting of her boyfriend, 39-year-old Joseph Barton.

53-year-old Victoria Dozier argues she was defending herself when she shot Barton May 17, 2010.

Prosecuting Attorney Ramon Rodriguez says that several shots were fired some even after Barton was down. Dozier's defense attorney, David Crowe, told the jury Dozier had finally had enough of Barton's abuse.

Port Neches Police Department Detective Jesse Fornet, testified Dozier told him exactly that after the shooting.

"She just said she wasn't going to take the abuse anymore," said Detective Fornet.

Port Neches Police Officers testified about the dozens of bullets and bullet holes in Dozier's Port Neches home. They say not all of the bullets were fired the morning of May 17 when Barton was killed.

Pictures were shown of Barton with five gunshot wounds on his upper body with at least two having entered from the front and two entering his back.

Something Prosecutor Ramon Rodriguez says shows Dozier shot Barton even after he was down.

"He was shot in the front and back. That doesn't seem normal," said Rodriguez.

The defense maintained claims of self defense even after evidence of several gunshots.

"Barton was shot five times, but I believe testimony will show dozier, who is about half his size and sustained numerous injuries, was protecting herself," said Crowe.

Pictures of Dozier's injuries were shown to the jury. Bruising was on her neck, face and back.

The prosecutor noted no cell phones had called 911 before the shooting, and by the time authorities arrived, Port Neches Fire Marshal Shawn Gearinger testified that Barton was showing signs of having been dead longer than just a few minutes.

The defense is expected to call witnesses Friday. If convicted of the murder charge, Dozier could face life in prison.

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