Jurors and courtroom spectators watched raptly as full-color security videotapes showed in tiny one-second jerks an altercation at the Sapp Brothers truck stop last year that resulted in a fatal shooting.
At the end, the man who fired a 9 mm handgun can be seen sitting down on a chair only a few feet away from a dying security guard, who is lying on the floor.
Family members of the dead man, Verne Jenkins, wept as videos from various cameras were shown over and over, both in slow motion and in a greatly speeded-up version.
Roger Allen Malcolm, 51, is charged with first-degree felony murder in connection with the shooting death of Jenkins, 31, on Dec. 26, 2007 at the Sapp Brothers truck stop, 1953 W. California Ave.
Prosecutors contend Malcolm was a rude and difficult customer, and Jenkins was simply doing his job when he tried to get Malcolm off the property. Malcolm had been yelling at cashiers for not waiting on him quickly enough when he wanted to buy some chewing gum.
Defense attorneys, however, claim that the security guard physically attacked Malcolm, who feared for his life and fired the gun in self-defense.
Salt Lake police detective Stephen Hartney, an expert on computerization of videotape taken from different types of security camera systems, testified that he corrected the timing on the shooting videos, which came from three cameras positioned at different spots in the truck stop. The jury also saw an "uncorrected" version that contains a display of vastly speeded up motion that shows people scurrying around.
Defense attorney Rudy Batista at one point stopped a videotape and, pointing to a spot on the screen, asked if that was a hand reaching out toward Malcolm, who appeared to be getting his bicycle inside the building. Hartney replied yes.
Batista has argued previously that Malcolm was trying to comply with Jenkins' order to leave the place. But for some reason, Jenkins started getting rough with Malcolm, who then drew his gun and fired in self-defense.
Earlier in the day, Ed Leis, Utah chief deputy medical examiner, testified that Jenkins died from a gunshot wound to the neck, which filled Jenkins' airway with tissue causing him to die from a combination of suffocation and bleeding.
Several Salt Lake police officers also took the stand to describe their role in investigating the crime. One officer said Malcolm swore at him repeatedly when he tried to get Malcolm's name, while another said Malcolm had to be held physically once in custody so detectives could get a cotton swab of blood from his face and photos of his face.