Truck driver William Clayton has seen a lot of death both as a medic's assistant in Vietnam and as an emergency medical technician. When he rushed from a truck-stop eating area to help a wounded security guard last year, Clayton said all he wanted to do was save the man's life.
As he was putting towels on the bleeding bullet wound in the security guard's neck, Clayton asked a nearby man who was covered in blood, "Why did you shoot him?"
"The (expletive) wouldn't quit hitting me," was the man's reply, according to Clayton.
Testimony continued Tuesday in the murder trial of Roger Allen Malcolm, 51, who is charged with first-degree felony murder in connection with the Dec. 26, 2007, death of Verne Jenkins, 31.
Jenkins was a security guard at the Sapp Brothers truck stop at 1953 W. California Ave.
Prosecutors say Malcolm became belligerent and loud with cashiers when he could not get waited on immediately to buy a pack of gum, so Jenkins tried to get him off the property and Jenkins ended up getting shot in the process.
But defense attorneys say Jenkins was overly aggressive and attacked Malcolm, who was trying to leave and who drew a gun and shot only in self-defense.
Prosecutors called a parade of witnesses Tuesday afternoon, some of whom saw portions of the physical altercation between the two men and others who observed the aftermath of the shooting.
Lester Huff and Bryant Brown were getting food at a Burger King inside the truck stop when they noticed a scuffle between two men. Huff said he thought it was a police officer who found someone with outstanding warrants and was "trying to take him down." Brown said he first thought it was just an argument, but after the shooting, he saw Malcolm sit down "quite calmly."
Chance Hoover spotted Malcolm with a gun, quickly helped a woman and two children get outside and called 911. At the dispatcher's request, he went back inside to describe what Malcolm was wearing and then dashed out into the parking lot to flag police in through the correct door.
Hoover said one employee, later identified as Amy Starks, began screaming angrily at Malcolm for shooting Jenkins, whom she described as a nice guy. Hoover said he told the truck stop workers and customers he didn't think it was a good idea for Starks to be yelling at Malcolm when a gun lay on a table within Malcolm's reach. The gun was later moved to a chair at the request of Clayton, who was on the floor administering first aid.
Another employee, Angela Simister, pulled the "very distraught" Starks away after they both had provided towels to Clayton to make pressure bandages to try to stop the bleeding.
At the trial, Simister described Malcolm's demeanor as "smug," although in an earlier preliminary hearing, she had described him as appearing "calm."
Starks testified that once she realized that Malcolm had shot Jenkins, she asked why and he replied, "He touched me. He tried to stop me. He had no right to do that."
She wanted someone to get Jenkins' handcuffs from his belt and put them on Malcolm. She said Malcolm then stood up, called her a foul name and then, "I snapped," Starks said. A shouting match between the two ensued until she was pulled away. Starks said she didn't remember what was said, only that they were face to face and screaming at each other.
Regina Crookston, a waitress at Great American Restaurant also inside the truck stop, said she called 911 after she heard a gun go off. She said she heard Malcolm holler, "Stop hitting me," once he had been handcuffed by police and was being led out of the building.
"I didn't see anybody hitting him," she said.The trial is to continue today with the nine-member jury watching a security camera video that is described as showing most of the incident.