Attempted murder or crime of passion? Jury to decide in 2015 shooting
The connection between three young people in October of 2015-- at the time, two teens and 21-year-old Christian Beier-- is under the microscope as prosecutors present their case against Beier to an Anchorage jury.
"Twenty-one days. 21 days from the day Caia Delavergne met the defendant, till the day he shot her in the face," said Anchorage Deputy District Attorney Christina Sherman, during opening statements Monday.
Sherman told the jury on October 23, 2015, an armed Beier showed up at then 17-year-old Conor Lally's home, where he'd seen Delavergne and Lally together earlier that day.
According to Sherman, Beier told Lally, "Sometimes guns just go..." and then fired multiple shots at him, before going upstairs where Delavergne was.
"He walks into the bedroom, points the gun at her, and says something to the effect of, 'This is what you get,'" said Sherman, later telling jurors, "The bullet has gone through her eye, out her behind her ear, and into the wall."
That's when Sherman says Beier went back downstairs to find Lally still alive.
"So the defendant tries to strangle him, and he hits him, pummels him with his fists, hits him with an iron from the ironing board, and he beats him and pistol whips him with a gun until the base of the magazine falls off, and at some point Conor says, 'Why don't you just kill me?' and he fires a shot that goes through Conor into the floorboard," said Sherman.
Sherman says Delavergne jumped from a two-story window, hid until Beier left, then found a neighbor and asked for help.
Beier was then the subject of a manhunt and was eventually captured in Mountain View, but Sherman says he sent messages to both victims while on the run, and even posted to Facebook.
A grand jury indicted him on several felony charges, including attempted murder.
Sherman describes the three as becoming "fast friends" in the weeks before the shooting, and according to court documents, Delavergne initially told police she was dating Lally, but "lately [Beier] had been hitting on her."
Defense attorney Gary Soberay, who is defending Beier, says it was Beier and Delavergne who were dating and argues that while Beier might be guilty of some form of assault, he's not guilty of attempted murder, as his actions were fueled by extreme passion.
"To young people in love, 21 days is a long time. And you know what it can do? It can evoke extreme passion," said Soberay, during his opening statements.
Soberay also attempted to cast doubt on the truthfulness of Lally's statements, calling him a "17-year-old drug dealing methamphetamine head."
Investigators found pills and drug paraphernalia throughout the home after the shooting.
The trial continues Tuesday morning when the state will begin to call witnesses.
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