Almost two years after 35-year-old Travis Hood (left) was shot and killed outside Morgan Junction Park, his accused killer, 69-year-old Lovett Chambers (right), is about to go on trial. Tomorrow (Monday, January 6th) is the official start date, though opening statements might not happen for more than a week. According to the official assignment made this past Friday, King County Superior Court Judge Theresa Doyle will preside over the trial, starting Monday morning with motions.
As reported here last August, the charge against Chambers has been reduced to second-degree murder; the original charge filed days after the shooting was first-degree murder. We have been following the case as it proceeded through the system for these many months. Court documents say Chambers contends he acted in self-defense, saying that Hood and his friend, who had been at the nearby Feedback Lounge at the same time he was, were making racial slurs, and that Hood tried to get into his car. Chambers was arrested at his Gatewood home one hour after the shooting; police were given his name quickly because he was a regular at the bar.
Chambers’ case also is described in numerous documents as pursuing a “post-traumatic stress disorder” defense. Some of the most recent court filings involve arguments over whether statements that Chambers made to police the night of the shooting can be admitted as evidence. The court calendar has set aside a month for the trial. Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe tells WSB that jury selection is expected to begin after a few days of motion hearings, and an estimated two weeks of testimony will follow that.