Morgan Junction murder trial: Opening statements presented

February 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

(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.

9 Comments

  1. R.I.P Travis Hood.

    Chambers is a scary individual. And shame on his attorney for playing the card. Hope he gets life.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 9:46 pm February 19, 2014 #

  2. I remember the date and the event but its hard to deal that this is an issue. Sid came to my house to give a bid on a new bay window…very thorough. Chats with him at Rocksport. No idea of his background..always a mellow guy. No one would think differently. He played BBall in Indianapolis, so he said..good tales. Its hard to think he is in this photo…

    Comment by Dale — 10:11 pm February 19, 2014 #

  3. I was at feedback that night. Saw nothing. Left a moment before this terrible scene unfolded.

    Comment by Alkidoc — 10:21 pm February 19, 2014 #

  4. We’ve been neighbors of Mr. Chambers for 20+ years you could never meet a kinder, nicer person. Many of us have made mistakes in life and have learned from those experiences and moved forward. We shouldn’t be judging him from something he did 30 some years ago.

    Comment by West Seattle Residenr — 11:17 am February 20, 2014 #

  5. Mr. Hood was an outstanding person who had his life taken from him in an instant due to selfishness. I hope this man spends the rest of his life rotting in a cell.

    Comment by Seahawks Momma — 1:33 pm February 20, 2014 #

  6. Im family of the victim..travis was an amazing person..thank you for everybodys support

    Comment by jodie — 7:36 pm February 20, 2014 #

  7. ‘West Seattle Residenr’: Chambers was a FELON, who possessed a firearm. That was his first crime, post-conviction (automatically punishable by 10 years in federal prison). His second crime appears to be murder. And yet you characterize him as ‘kind and nice’? Incredible.

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 9:02 pm February 20, 2014 #

  8. Hi Seattle bloggers I’m Micheal Travis hoods mom..I came up to attend the trial of the accused..I would like to thank everyone for the supporting comments. Travis was a great man and he is truly missed by many. Definitely not white trash as some may consider.He also left behind a 14 year old daughter who misses her daddy dearly. His death was tragic and to soon and I hope justice prevails.

    Comment by brenda hood — 7:34 pm February 21, 2014 #

  9. ScubaFrog: So in your mind someone can’t change over 50 years? I wasn’t even born 50 years ago however, I have known Mr. Chambers for close to 20 years and yes he was a nice person – you don’t know him so who are you to judge?

    Comment by West Seattle Resident — 6:17 am February 22, 2014 #

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