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Defense argues that cop killer meant to shoot officer in chest, not face

Defense argues that cop killer meant...

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Defense attorneys questioned their first witness Tuesday in the case of a Coeur d'Alene man accused of killing a police sergeant.

The defense has a tough battle ahead, knowing their client was caught on body camera shooting Sergeant Greg Moore. Now, they have to prove he did not intend to kill him.

Witnesses Tuesday attempted to prove the defense's argument that Sergeant Greg Moore made contact with Jonathan Renfro right before Renfro fired his gun, which changed the trajectory of the bullet and he was shot in the face.

The defense is arguing that Renfro would have otherwise shot Moore in the chest, where he knew he'd be wearing police body armor. But the prosecution didn't let things get away from them, pushing back hard against these witnesses.

For several hours Tuesday, lawyers asked tough questions of video analysts brought in to testify for the defense. A forensic video analyst and another expert in the science of human motion both used their expertise to come to the conclusion that Sergeant Moore and Jonathan Renfro made contact before Renfro's gun fired.

One of those experts looked at video and audio from Moore's body camera to pinpoint where he believed that contact was made, less than a second before the gun was fired. The other looked at slight movements in Sergeant Moore's wrist.

He argued that he believed Newtonian Laws were at work, showing a change in the angle of Moore's wrist as a reaction to force. But prosecutors pushed back, pointing out that both men were making assumptions about the positioning of Moore and Renfro, and that not all variables could be accounted for.

Both men admitted this was true, and it was a possibility that no contact was ever made. The state is now working on securing witnesses to address the claims made by the defense. The jury has been instructed to be prepared to be sequestered as early as Wednesday, where they will have to decide if Renfro is guilty of first degree murder.

A surprise in court Tuesday came when one juror was excused from the trial. It came to the court's attention that the juror made a brief comment to a bailiff he saw this weekend at a local store.