Michael Jared Thompson's Involuntary Murder Trial Begins
Rupert, Idaho (KMVT-TV) The trial for a Burley man charged with involuntary manslaughter began today. That's after a four month delay from June of this year.
Just after midnight on December 17th last year, a Minidoka County Sheriff's deputy found 21 year old Michael Kenneth Blair of Burley inside a pickup truck at 245 South 500 West near Heyburn. Blair had died after being shot with a 9mm handgun.
Hours later police arrested 24 year old Michael Jared Thompson, also of Burley. A witness said Thompson cocked a pistol and pointed it backward over his shoulder while he was driving.
Attorneys made their opening statements in Thompson's trial.
Lance Stevenson, Minidoka County Prosecutor, says, "He put his mouth over the barrel of the gun, his hand on Jared's hand, and boom! The gun went off instantly, killing Michael Blair instantly."
That same witness said this accident never would have happened if alcohol hadn't been involved. Thompson was charged with second degree murder, which was changed to involuntary manslaughter.
Defense Attorney Keith Roark says, "Ladies and gentlemen, the evidence in this case will show that Michael Blair put that gun in his mouth after moving in a position where he could put it in his mouth. The evidence will not show that Jared Thompson killed him."
District Judge Michael Crabtree has set aside the rest of this week for the trial. After the witnesses share their testimonies and attorneys for both sides make their closing arguments, then the jurors will decide whether Michael Jared Thompson is guilty of involuntary manslaughter, or not.
If the jury isn't able to come to a decision by Friday, Judge Crabtree will have to decide how to best continue Thompson's trial.
Oct. 31, 2012.