Heroin is taking a central role in a murder trial in Warren County, one of four cases of deadly domestic violence there in the last half of 2016.
Freddie Green is alleged to have injected heroin and cocaine after shooting his father, but before calling 911, in December during an argument at their home in Lebanon.
A syringe containing the illegal drugs was found in the kitchen when police arrived on Dec. 2 to find Sidney Green, 64, dead in the bedroom from a single gunshot to the back of his head, according to testimony Monday during the first day of the trial in Warren County Common Pleas Court.
“It is a shame,” defense lawyer Jeff Richards said in his opening statement. “I feel bad for everybody involved in this.”
Green is charged with two counts of murder and two counts of felonious assault.
If convicted, he faces as much as 15 years to life in prison.
Neither side disputes that Green is a heroin addict.
During opening arguments, it was Richards who indicated Green was living with his father in a duplex at 470 Oxford Ave., rather than with his wife in Trenton, due to his addictions to drugs.
And a forensic specialist took the witness stand on Monday to verify heroin and cocaine were found in blood taken from Freddie Green after the shooting.
Richards wasted no time in trying to convince the jury that Green acted in self-defense after grabbing the gun away from his father after they quarreled over money while doing laundry.
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“There’s not a shred of evidence to dispute that,” Richards said in his opening statement. “The only witness is Freddie.”
From the beginning, Green said he shot his father after taking away one gun and faced with the prospect his father was intent on retrieving another gun and shooting him.
“I took it from him. I fired and I shot him,” Green said in a 911 call reporting the incident. “I took the gun from him. He said something about grabbing another gun, so I fired.”
In the struggle in the father’s bedroom, Green said he accidentally fatally shot his father, although aiming for his leg.
Sidney Green had recently obtained a conceal-carry permit for the gun.
“This is chaos,” Richards said. “It hits Sidney in the head. It kills him.”
Prosecutors began making their case that Green should be convicted of murder for shooting his father from three feet away in the back of the head, then calling his wife before 911.
Lebanon Police Officer Jeffrey Haller testified that Green said he waited more than two hours before calling 911.
“He didn’t know what to do and he was scared,” Haller read from a police report.
Green reportedly told Haller he knew his father was dead, couldn’t decide what to do and also considered suicide before calling 911.
Sidney Green was one of six victims of deadly domestic violence in the last half of 2016 in Warren County.
His son has been in the Warren County Jail since early Dec. 7, about six hours after he was arrested following the fatal shooting.
The trial was expected to end on Wednesday or Thursday.