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Legal professionals, father search to indicate jury that Auburn shooter acted in self-defense

AUGUSTA — Gage Dalphonse’s protection attorneys sought Monday to indicate he had acted in self-defense when he shot Jean Fournier twice within the again on the Auburn Walmart parking zone in 2019.

This technique concerned calling an knowledgeable witness and Dalphonse’s father.

Gage Dalphonse, 23, of Auburn listens final Wednesday as attorneys make opening statements firstly of his homicide trial on the Capital Judicial Heart in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

Daniel Dalphonse took the witness stand to testify in his 23-year-old son’s homicide trial. He got here outfitted with visible aids, together with a video of him firing his son’s Glock handgun from the motive force’s seat of his automotive.

The protection urged this demonstration reveals the gun was fired from contained in the automotive. Additionally included with the visible aids have been illustrated pictures that purported to indicate the trajectory of the bullets, as introduced by state investigators, which the protection mentioned confirmed Fournier should have nonetheless been subsequent to Dalphonse’s driver’s aspect door when the capturing occurred.

The protection crew’s knowledgeable witness, Marc Dupre, is a forensic scientist and co-owner of a New Hampshire  forensic consulting and coaching service. He labored greater than 20 years as a forensic scientist for New Hampshire State Police, together with as supervisor of the proof management unit earlier than leaving to change into a marketing consultant.

Dupre testified his evaluation of the proof, together with studies from Maine State Police investigators, the post-mortem report and the Walmart safety movies, indicated at the very least the primary shot occurred when Fournier, 41, was proper outdoors Dalphonse’s driver’s aspect window.

Dupre testified if the state’s findings that Fournier suffered paralysis from the primary shot is correct, then the second shot got here as Fournier was on the rear of the automotive, close to the place he collapsed. If these findings are disregarded, he mentioned the opposite proof signifies Fournier was shot nearer to the motive force’s aspect window.

Dupre mentioned his evaluation of the proof, together with an evaluation of the trajectory of the primary bullet shot into Fournier, could be in keeping with testimony from Dalphonse’s finest buddy and passenger that day, Defghan Zitsch, that Fournier was reaching into the automotive and making an attempt to open the door.

“This positioning (by the motive force’s door), I’d recommend, is much more in keeping with what truly occurred, from the trajectory,” Dupre mentioned.

State investigators testified beforehand they believed Fournier of Turner was shot when he was already working away from the automotive, to the rear of the automobile. They mentioned one of many bullets that struck Fournier broken his spinal wire, which might have triggered him to be paralyzed from the waist down.

That damage would imply when Fournier was working from the automotive, the bullet had not hit him but, and, thus, Dalphonse had shot Fournier as he was working away.

Fournier’s location when he was shot is vital as a result of the protection has acknowledged that Dalphonse of Auburn shot Fournier, however claims he did so in self-defense.

Video from Walmart safety cameras reveals Fournier working away from beside Dalphonse’s driver’s aspect window and getting two or three steps from the rear of the automotive earlier than he crumpled to the pavement, with two bullet wounds in his again.

Dalphonse informed witnesses who requested why he shot Fournier, “He shouldn’t have punched me within the face,” and sought to persuade onlookers he acted in self-defense, in keeping with Nicholas Gallant, a witness who was along with his household leaving Walmart after shopping for a DVD the night of the capturing.

“He was sort of smiling. I hate to say it, however he was nearly smiling, like he was happy. You realize what I imply?” Gallant, a witness for the state, testified of his transient interplay with Dalphonse after the capturing and earlier than police arrived. “I requested (Dalphonse) why he shot him within the again. He informed me, ‘He shouldn’t have punched me within the face.’”

One other witness repeated that Dalphonse had mentioned Fournier shouldn’t have punched him within the face. However Christopher Morris, a witness for the protection, mentioned Dalphonse appeared shocked and surprised, not happy or smiling, after the capturing. Morris mentioned Dalphonse didn’t have a shirt on when the 2 talked as a result of he had taken it off so it may very well be used to use stress to attempt to cease Fournier from bleeding.

Dalphonse’s father testified when his son’s automotive, a 2017 Volkswagen GTI, was returned to the household by police about three weeks after the capturing, he was shocked to see a bullet casing on a ground mat.

Dupre testified that the way in which the Glock ejected its bullet casings made it possible the gun was fired from contained in the automotive. And if the gun have been fired outdoors the automotive, the casing would have been discovered outdoors and towards the entrance of the automotive.

Police mentioned one bullet casing was discovered within the parking zone subsequent to the automotive and the opposite on the motive force’s aspect ground mat.

However Detective Sgt. Scott Bryant, proof response crew commander for the Maine State Police on the state crime laboratory, mentioned ejection patterns are inconsistent and aren’t a dependable indicator of the place a gun was fired.

The capturing adopted an opportunity encounter on the Walmart parking zone on the night of July 27, 2019, in keeping with studies. Along with his buddy as a passenger, Dalphonse was driving by the parking zone and noticed Fournier’s girlfriend, Tara Nguyen.

The 2, who had labored collectively at an space nursing dwelling, had a dispute. They exchanged insults within the retailer parking zone as Dalphonse drove alongside. Fournier, whom Dalphonse didn’t know, adopted Dalphonse’s automotive, which pulled right into a parking area.

Fournier approached the automotive and demanded Dalphonse apologize to Nguyen. When Dalphonse refused, Fournier punched him whereas Dalphonse was sitting on the wheel. Dalphonse then pulled out a gun, capturing Fournier twice within the again.

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