(PHOTO BY KEN LAMBERT/THE SEATTLE TIMES – republished by WSB with permission)
1:41 PM: We are at the King County Courthouse, in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Theresa Doyle, where – after a month and a half of motions and jury selection – opening statements are about to begin in the trial of 69-year-old Lovett Chambers. He is the Gatewood man charged with second-degree murder in the January 2012 shooting death of 35-year-old Travis Hood alongside Morgan Junction Park. By all accounts, Chambers and Hood did not know each other; all they had in common is that both had been in a nearby bar moments before the shooting. We’ve read hundreds and hundreds of pages of court documents in the case in the past two years; they indicate that Chambers will contend self-defense, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder from the defendant’s experiences in prison and with police decades earlier. Under another name, he had a record, but nothing for the past 20-plus years while he lived and worked in West Seattle. About a dozen people are here in the gallery, watching the lawyers prepare. Depending on how it goes, we’ll likely add some updates here during the afternoon, in addition to more detailed coverage after proceedings are done for the day.
3:56 PM UPDATE: Court has recessed for the day, after both sides presented their opening statements, and jurors will hear from the first witness tomorrow morning. We have also added a photo, courtesy of our partners at The Seattle Times, who are also covering the trial; it was taken in the courtroom hallway at midday, showing Chambers at right with a deputy at left. We will publish a separate story later today with details of the proceedings.