Jury deliberations resume tomorrow morning in Morgan Junction murder trial

April 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

gavel.jpgTomorrow morning, the jurors in the trial of Lovett “Cid” Chambers will resume their deliberations – to decide whether he’s guilty of second-degree murder as charged, manslaughter, or assault – any of which would require a unanimous verdict – or not guilty of anything at all, for shooting Travis Hood by Morgan Junction Park on January 21, 2012. After listening to testimony for six weeks, jurors met for one full day Friday before going home for the weekend; King County Superior Court Judge Theresa B. Doyle officially turned the case over to them at the end of the day Thursday, but there was no time to deliberate before court went into recess for the end of the day. Our final report on courtroom presentations is here, and it includes links to our 22 previous detailed reports on what happened each day in court.

11 Comments

  1. Truly a tragic case here. Additionally, a heartfelt thanks to the West Seattle Blog for their investment in time and related resources to bring this case to light. However, here is the issue. The fact that that Mr. Chambers retrieved his weapon from his car vitiates a self-defense position. Presumably, Chambers could of just left the scene of the crime by driving away. His failing was confronting the victim by sending four .45 caliber slugs into his chest.

    Comment by robertojosedelarosa — 9:27 am April 7, 2014 #

  2. Roberto, I don’t think the case is all that simple. Did you see Mr. Chambers’ testimony? Weighing that against the testimony of the eyewitness, a man of very dubious credibility, and the jury has a pretty tough decision to make. Remember self-defense must be disproven by the government, beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Echo the thanks to the blog, it is rare that we get such in-depth coverage of a trial!

    Comment by Sean — 10:45 am April 7, 2014 #

  3. Thanks for the thanks. This is the third West Seattle murder trial in our six-plus years of operation as a commercial news publication, so far, and we also covered the other two from the courthouse (though neither was this long):

    *In 2011, the trial of 2 of the 4 people charged in the Junction murder of Steve Bushaw. The two actual shooters had pleaded guilty, but the mastermind and getaway driver went to trial; in the August 2011 verdict http://westseattleblog.com/2011/08/bushaw-murder-trial-jury-announcement-this-morning the former was found guilty, the jury couldn’t agree on the latter, who later pleaded guilty)

    *In 2008, the trial of a 17-year-old boy who, in a car in Upper Alki, shot and killed a man who he said had molested him and pursued him across multiple states to keep doing so – he was found not guilty: http://westseattleblog.com/2008/10/awaiting-the-verdict-in-59thadmiral-shooting-case
    .
    TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:42 am April 7, 2014 #

  4. I agree Sean, the jury definitely has their hands full. However, most would agree that a major component of intent is in furtherance. In other words, it has been established that Mr. Chambers confronted his victim after retieving his weapon from his car. Specifically, Chambers engaged in behavior that added further to the chain of events leading to the fatal discharge of his weapon. Additionally, the prosecution may in fact adequately persuade the jury that the threshold of self-defense has not been reached. If that is the case, then upon conviction, if Chamber’s lawyers disagree, they may have grounds to appeal the conviction.

    Comment by robertojosedelarosa — 12:06 pm April 7, 2014 #

  5. Yes, he got out of his car armed. A couple of years ago I would have thought that that would be a key piece of evidence that would make a self defense claim very difficult.
    .
    But, two prominent trials have recently made it clear that juries don’t have to think that way when they consider a claim of self defense. Of course those trials were in different states, with different lawyers and juries, so they aren’t setting any kind of precedent that appllies here. But plainly juries can and do consider self defense situations even when a person gets out of his car armed.

    Comment by Community Member — 1:37 pm April 7, 2014 #

  6. Roberto -
    .
    Legally, it’s not that simple. In Washington state, you don’t have a duty to retreat from aggression. He didn’t have to leave, ask for help, etc.. The fact that he got his gun doesn’t nullify his self defense claim.
    .
    I believe the only two things really matter: (1) who was the initial aggressor and (2) did Chambers feel at risk of grave bodily harm at the time he shot.
    .
    This is hard for the jury because there’s really only a few pieces of undisputed facts. The victim was shot 3 times, there was a shovel, and there was an open knife in the bed of the truck.
    .
    And making it more difficult is that jurors may feel he’s legally not guilty, but acted extremely irresponsibly resulting in someone’s death.

    Comment by sna — 2:30 pm April 7, 2014 #

  7. I think it’s crucial to analyze one’s past in regards to circumstances involving murder. Not that one’s past should ever be used to solely decide guilt, but perhaps it can be indicative of future behavior (I wonder what psychiatrists and psychologists would say, to that end). Chambers is a convicted bank robber, and rapist amongst other things. He was a felon in possession of a weapon, and he has 2 different accounts of what happened (the first account of course was his drunken rant the night he was arresting, saying “I don’t know what the f%$# happened, man!”). Now it would appear that he’s perjuring himself with this newest account of “self defense”. He retrieved his firearm, and pursued Travis/Jamie.
    -
    And fair enough, we don’t have to have to retreat from aggression nor should we – but again I don’t think that gives us the right to pursue people we deem a threat? Or does it? Also why didn’t Chambers call 911, if it was self defense? Why did he go home and start brow-beating his wife over the “lame show” she was watching? Heaven forbid I shoot someone in self defense – I’d immediately call 911 when I felt I was safe, and I’d call my lawyers. I wouldn’t leave the scene and go home, plop the .45 on the kitchen counter and watch tv.

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 5:02 pm April 7, 2014 #

  8. “Brow-beating” …. Really!?! Oh, the drama.. Scuba, you obviously have, and have had an agenda throughout this trial. May you pick the log out of your own eye, before the splinter in someone else’s.

    Comment by Erin — 4:18 am April 8, 2014 #

  9. I’m not sure that you can accurately refer to Mr. Chambers as being a rapist. The charge (conviction?) against him was kidnapping and/or rape. It’s an old charge that doesn’t exist on the books any longer (I don’t think), but it used to be an encompassing charge. For example, you rob a bank and there are hostages (technically any other person in the bank means you can be charged with kidnapping). It used to be that if one of those “hostages” was female the charge of kidnapping and/or rape could be pursued no matter the actual crime. And to reiterate Erin’s comment, I wouldn’t call flipping your spouse a little but of s* for watching a crappy movie “brow-beating”.

    Comment by Alki skater — 7:51 am April 8, 2014 #

  10. Erin the “splinter” you’re referring to is murder. Murder committed in cold blood, by a convicted bank robber, and a convicted rapist. Your agenda is as glaringly obvious as mine – the difference is, I’ll own my agenda. Your denial and hypocrisy blinds you.

    Defending the indefensible must be grueling, tiresome work. And apparently emotionally-taxing – Chambers’ remaining supporters have bankrupted themselves in regard to logic and rational thought – and have resorted to petty insults. No facts… No truths… No ethics… No morals. Just insults and lies.

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 7:55 am April 8, 2014 #

  11. Mr Frog….I do not have an “agenda”. But, you seem to. How, exactly, am I a hypocrite? How am I in denial? How am I blinded? You just spew crap. You act like Hood & Vause were just having a happy game of “shovel” baseball in the parking lot.

    Comment by Erin — 11:35 am April 8, 2014 #

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