Prosecutor and District Attorney Craig Ladd began the process of laying out his argument when he described Laurie Martin, 37, as a “jilted ex-lover” that planned the Nov. 20 attack that lead to the death of Chivas Piggee, 38.
Defense attorney James Gilmartin painted Martin as the victim of domestic violence who tried to break up the fight that led to Piggee’s death as witnesses testified Wednesday during Martin’s trial for first-degree manslaughter in Carter County District Court. District Judge Dennis Morris is presiding over the case.
In front of a jury of 12 — 6 men, 6 women — a total of 5 witnesses were called to the stand by Ladd in the opening day of the trial.
Wednesday’s witnesses included Anesie Wright, who was presented as an eye witness to the attack that resulted in Piggee’s death. Wright recounted the events as she witnessed them from the night of the attack. Wright was also noted as the individual who reported the attack to police. Wright claimed the attack started up the street from her Wolverton Street residence before ending more than two blocks away on the corner of E Street NW and 5th Ave. NW. Wright claimed that Piggee was chased by his assailants, who later fled the scene in an automobile Wright was asked to identify.
Ardmore police officer Nick Denewellis was the first officer on the scene. Denewellis testified that he found the unresponsive Piggee under a blanket or jacket. After checking Piggee for a pulse, Denewellis said Piggee let out a long breath.
Ardmore police officer Adam Eller also took the stand. Eller was the second officer to respond to the attack. Eller said he then made contact with a gray SUV — following it to Martin’s residence — containing Madison Martin, 19, Dalton Waugh, 19, Keenen Wright, 23, and Elizabeth Taylor. Eller said he found several knives and two pairs of brass knuckles in the vehicle after detaining the occupants.
While in impound at the Carter County Sheriff’s Department, a later search of the vehicle by APD Crime Scene Investigator Julia Robert uncovered a silver butterfly knife believed to be the weapon used in the stabbing.
Jurors were also shown Eller’s dash camera footage of the night in question during Eller’s initial interview of Martin and others at the residence.
Also taking the witness stand was APD officer Ian Naylor, who responded to the call and assisted in detaining the occupants of the gray SUV. Naylor also assisted in the search of Martin’s purse and car.
APD officer Landon Gary took the stand to describe the scene when he arrived. Gary was the first officer to document the injuries to Piggee and also managed to interview Piggee. Ladd played the audio from Gary’s dash camera footage of the exchange between Gary and Piggee while Piggee was being treated for his wounds.
Roberts also discussed DNA evidence taken from the clothes of all parties involved.
The trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. today and continue through Friday.