Defense calls witnesses in police officer murder trial

Luzenski Cottrell could face the death penalty if found guilty of shooting and killing a Myrtle Beach Police officer in 2002.
Luzenski Cottrell could face the death penalty if found guilty of shooting and killing a Myrtle Beach Police officer in 2002.
The defense called several people to the stand. Among them, a Neuroradiologist and Diagnostic Radiologist, Dr. David Goltra.
The defense called several people to the stand. Among them, a Neuroradiologist and Diagnostic Radiologist, Dr. David Goltra.
"You can see fragments of the bullet as they came from the front, down to the back, and out through the calf," Goltra explained.
"You can see fragments of the bullet as they came from the front, down to the back, and out through the calf," Goltra explained.

CONWAY, SC (WMBF)- After just two days of testimony, closing arguments are scheduled Wednesday in the capital murder trial for fallen Myrtle Beach Police Officer Joe McGarry.

Not many people expected just two days of testimony. Judge Hyman scheduled closing arguments for tomorrow, but not before defense attorneys brought witnesses to the stand Tuesday.

The defense called several people to the stand. Among them, a Neuroradiologist and Diagnostic Radiologist, Dr. David Goltra.

Attorneys pulled Luzenski Cottrell out of his seat to face the jury while Dr. Goltra showed them where the bullet entered Cottrell's left leg. After, the CAT scans were shown.

"You can see fragments of the bullet as they came from the front, down to the back, and out through the calf," Goltra explained. "You can see a trail of the fragments that were left behind by the bullet."

The defense contends the first shot went into Cottrell's leg by accident during an initial fight between Cottrell and McGarry.

However, the state asked if someone could run with this type of injury, because yesterday, state witness Sergeant Mike Guthinger testified Cottrell tried to make a run for it after the first shots were fired.

"So it would be difficult to walk with any sort of comfort or even run with any sort of comfort with that sort of fracture that presumably happened at the time of the gun shot wound," Goltra testified.

Goltra was the last witness in court today. Judge Larry Hyman, sent the Jury out once more, and read Luzenski Cottrell his rights and asked if he would like to testify.

"Do you wish to testify?" Hyman asked.

"No sir, I don't,"Cottrell responded.

"Are you making this decision freely and voluntarily?" Hyman asked.

"Yes sir, I am," Cottrell answered.

Though Cottrell waived his right to testify, Judge Hyman stated he could change his mind later.

McGarry's mother, Anita McGarry, also took the stand, testifying she found the identity of the man who killed her son in his belongings after he was killed, before returning them to the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

On Wednesday morning, closing arguments will begin. The jury will hear charges, and they will have their time to deliberate a verdict.

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