A key piece of evidence used against John Henry Spooner—the 76-year-old Milwaukee man convicted Wednesday of fatally shooting a 13-year-old neighbor he accused of breaking into his home and stealing weapons—was his own surveillance video of the incident. And now that footage has been released showing the moment it all happened.
Here’s HuffPo on the May 2012 clip:
In the surveillance footage, Spooner emerges from his house that morning and confronts Simmons. He points a gun at the boy, who quickly moves backward a few steps. Both Spooner and the teen direct their attention toward a porch at Simmons’ home, where Simmons’ mother is standing. Moments later, Spooner points the gun back at Simmons and fires, hitting him in the chest.
As the teen stumbles and runs away, Spooner fires a second shot that misses him.
Simmons’ mother, Patricia Larry, testified that Spooner warned her to call 911 and accused her son of burglarizing his home. She said Spooner told her son he’d teach him not to steal, then fired the shot that struck the boy in his chest.
Larry ran after her son. When she caught up to where the boy had collapsed on the ground, she could only feel a light pulse in his neck.
“Then I pulled his shirt up and I (saw) he had a bullet hole in his chest,” she testified tearfully. “He took one more breath and that’s it.”
Here’s the shocking clip:
Now jurors will decide if Spooner was mentally ill at the time.
Spooner had entered two pleas to the homicide charge: not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. That set up the trial to be conducted in two phases: the first to determine whether he was guilty of the homicide, and if so, a second to determine whether he was mentally competent at the time.
With the first phase complete, the second began with testimony from a psychiatrist hired by the defense. Dr. Basil Jackson said his examination of Spooner revealed a man with anger issues who periodically dissociated from reality.
Spooner’s daughter once brought home a kitten that he didn’t want so he took it into the basement and killed it, Jackson said. Spooner also used to choke and beat his late wife, the doctor testified.
The violence shows Spooner occasionally loses the ability to control his anger – as during the moments that he shot Darius, Jackson said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.