A jury is currently deliberating in the case of James Powell, a 19-year-old who is accused of shooting and paralyzing a man in Oak Hill four years ago.
The homeowner, Joel Tatro, died a year ago and Powell was later indicted on a charge of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors argue that Powell and his friends showed up uninvited to a party that Tatro was hosting for his teenage son, and when they refused to leave, a confrontation occurred, during which Powell pulled out a gun and fired, severing Tatro’s spinal cord.
The defense claims that Tatro and others used racial slurs and demeaning language, leaving Powell and his friends with no choice but to act as they did.
The jury could consider less serious charges in addition to first-degree murder.