Suspect claims self-defense; charged with 2nd degree murder - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Self-defense shooting trial: Suspect charged with 2nd degree murder

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PHOENIX -

It was a case that made national headlines -- a man out walking his dog was shot and killed outside of a Taco Bell restaurant in south Phoenix.

The shooter told police it was self-defense and that the victim was about to attack him with a metal pipe, but it turned out that pipe was really a dog leash.

Prosecutors spent the day presenting their case.  It's been called "The Reverse Trayvon Martin Case."  The shooter claims he feared for his life and had every right to shoot under the "Stand Your Ground" law.

The gun used to shoot 29-year-old Daniel Adkins was shown to the jury as Phoenix Police detectives testified in the trial against Cordell Jude.

Adkins had developmental disabilities.  He was out walking his dog when he was shot and killed at the Taco Bell near 51st Avenue and Baseline Road. Jude was pulling out of that Taco Bell and almost ran over Adkins.  Adkins allegedly hit the car and yelled at Jude.  That's when Jude told police he feared for his life and pulled out a gun and shot Adkins.  At first, Jude told investigators he thought Adkins had a weapon -- detectives didn't find one.

"We looked in that field and didn't find anything," said Det. Jennifer Mellinger.

An attorney asked, "So you looked for poles, metal baseball bats?"

"Yes," replied Mellinger.

"If you had seen a wooden object that looked like a baseball bat, would you have noted that for the jury?  Knives, guns, anything.. you find anything?" asked the attorney.

"Nothing," said Mellinger.

Detectives say they did find a dent on the roof of Jude's car, but testified they don't know if the dent was already there before the shooting.  Adkins was shot at close range.

"Based on your close range, you'd agree that where my finger is the muzzle and you are the target that the shooting could have occurred as close as I am to you now?" asked defense attorney Ursula H. Gordwin.

"Correct.  Yes, ma'am," said Mellinger.

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