Dirt bike suspect on heroin meds during shooting

Posted at 12:33 PM, Mar 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-19 12:48:20-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Jury selection is underway in the trial of a man accused of shooting and killing another man during a fight over dirt bike noise. Michael Mabry, Jr., 25, is charged with second-degree murder for the Sept. 2012 shooting death of 62-year-old Donald Sims, Sr.

Police said Mabry shot and killed Sims after the two got into an argument over noise Mabry and his brother made while dirt biking on trails near Sims' Kenwood Avenue home.

During jury selection, Mabry's defense attorney David Baugh told potential jurors Mabry was on medication to help him kick his heroin addiction at the time of the shooting. He also explained to the jury that Mabry had several brushes with the law in the past.

When Baugh mentioned that, a few potential jurors spoke very candidly about if those past legal problems would affect their ability to be impartial. One juror was excused when he explained that he believed anyone who took another person's life should be punished, no matter the circumstance.

Another potential juror was excused when he explained that a loved one of his had been a victim of a violent crime. The man explained to the judge and attorneys that his family member was shot to death in Kansas a few years ago and he was not happy with the way the prosecutor handled the case.

Jury selection took up much of the morning with defense attorney Baugh, emphasizing to the potential jurors how important it is to seat 13 people who will be open to listening to all of the evidence before making their decision.

CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said one critical question the jury will be asked to consider was whether Sims, the shooting victim, was reaching for something during the argument.

"The defense will likely claim self-defense, that he [Mabry] saw the victim reaching for what could have been a weapon," Stone said.

The judge told potential jury members that the trial would likely take two days. Baugh said that Mabry would take the stand in his own defense.