Jury deliberates in Matthew Gravely murder trial - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

NEW DETAILS: Gravely found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in Fayette County

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UPDATE:

The jury has returned their verdict in the case against Matthew Gravely.  The trial took just two days and the jury came back after only two hours of reviewing the evident.  Gravely was found guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter in the shooting death of Gary Smith.

Gravely will be sentenced on May 30 at 10:30 a.m.

 


ORIGINAL STORY:

The jury is deliberating in the murder trial of Matthew Gravely in Fayette County.

Gravely is charged with shooting next-door neighbor Gary Smith. It happened at the MountainAir Mobile home park in Glen Jean last April.

Matthew Gravely was arrested April 3, 2013 and is charged with the murder of his next-door neighbor Gary Smith.

Smith died that night from a gunshot wound in his back. Smith's mother testified she witnessed Gravely murder her son.

Friday morning began with more witnesses called to the stand. The suspect's aunt and wife testified first. Then Matthew Gravely took the stand and told the jury what happened that night in his own words.

Gravely testified that after he came home from work on April 2nd, 2013 he was invited to Gary's home to hang out. Gravely admits to having a couple of beers but says he wasn't drunk. He does say Gary was very drunk.

Gravely told the jury he and Smith got in an argument, and said Smith jumped on his back, choking him, and would not let go.

Gravely said when he was finally able to get Smith off him, that's when he claims he pulled out his pistol and shot at Smith's feet.

Then, he said Smith got control of his gun and fired at him. It malfunctioned and did not fire.

Then he told the courtroom he regained control of his gun and shot at Smith again. Gravely told the jury when he fired the shot at Smith that second time he closed his eyes and was only shooting to scare him.

During cross-examination, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brian Parsons said "You want us to believe that you were holding a gun at him and you couldn't run back to your trailer, just a few feet away?" Gravely said "yes."

Matthew Gravely's Attorney Elizabeth Campbell asked "At any point that night did you fear for your life?"

Gravely answered "Yes. Smith had the gun pointed at me and had the gun not jammed, I would have been shot."

Detective Cpl. Rod Purdue then took the stand. Purdue was questioned "Do you see any evidence that bares out his claim that the gun misfired?" to which he answered "No sir I do not."

The judge did not allow our camera to record any audio.