CLAYTON, MO – Intense testimony and at times contentious exchanges characterized day two of the trial where one man is accused of murdering another after an argument at the Florissant Show-Me`s Restaurant and Sports Bar.
The case is testing Missouri`s self-defense law.
There is no disputing that 55-year-old Neal Myers of Bellefontaine Neighbors shot and killed 43-year-old Scott Beary from Winchester in West County inside the Florissant Show-Me`s in February of last year.
What is being hotly debated at the trial this week in Clayton is whether the shooting was murder or self-defense.
Myers is facing charges of second-degree murder, first-degree assault, and armed criminal action.
The shooting happened after an argument between Beary and Myers that began as a discussion over dogs including police dogs.
Both had been drinking alcohol at the bar before the deadly incident.
Florissant Police Detective Mark Nardoni spent much of the day on the witness stand.
He interviewed Myers three different times after the shooting.
The interviews were played in court.
In them, Myers says he and Beary exchanged words as Beary was leaving with a friend.
Myers says he told Beary something to the effect that 'he smelled like pork', in response to Beary saying that dogs liked him.
Myers also admitted to calling Beary a ‘fat (expletive).’
Beary was a large man.
In the interviews, Myers says after his comments Beary attacked him and that, “he feared for his life.”
Myers also says in the interviews that Beary threatened him saying, 'I`m going to kill you.'
At some point during the physical altercation, Myers pulled out a handgun that he was carrying and shot Beary.
Nardoni pointed out inconsistencies in Myers` story and that nobody else at the bar heard Beary threaten Myers.
But on cross-examination, Myers` attorney Scott Rosenblum got Nardoni to admit Myers was still intoxicated during the first interview and that Myers could have had a concussion from the incident which may have impacted his ability to accurately recall the events.
Nardoni also testified on cross-examination that Myers never threatened Beary or challenged him to a fight.
Rosenblum is trying to make the case that Myers acted lawfully under Missouri`s self-defense law.
The law stating that deadly force can be used when there is a 'reasonable belief that the force is necessary for self-defense...to prevent death, serious physical injury, or a forcible felony.’
Neal said in the police interview that he was sorry that, 'it had to come to this’.
Testimony resumes tomorrow at 9am.
The jury is expected to get the case either late tomorrow or Friday.