Lee jury now deliberates ex-deputy's fate - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee jury now deliberates ex-deputy's fate

May 18, 2006

Leesburg -- The defense began putting on its case about 11:30 Thursday morning.

Closing arguments were made about 1:00, and the jury was charged. and the jury began deliberations at 2:15 this afternoon.

At 3:00, the jury raised a question about "the abandonment of attempt," which goes with the tampering with evidence charge against Donnie Spillers.

The defense called only two witnesses to the stand Thursday. One of the witnesses was Lee County Sheriff's Lieutenant Dennis Parker. Parker's testimony was explosive.

He testified about what happened the night Wesley Beaver was killed by Donnie Spillers, and when it wold be appropriate to chase a suspect, what circumstances justify deadly force, and described the chase as a hot pursuit, reaching speeds of 90 miles per hour.

But it was under cross examination that Parker talked about a conversation he had with former deputy Sandra Pressley, about the death scene, and when she told him about being asked by Spillers for a gun to plant on Beaver.

"I thought he had probably panicked, and that it had maybe cloud [sic] the issue at the time, and if she wasn't sure what the reasoning was, I just told her to wait until they talked to her about it."

Wait until someone specifically asked about it?" asked prosecutor Cecilia Cooper.

"Yes," replied Parker.

A 911 dispatcher also testified today, to give jurors a timeline of events.

The jurors will consider four counts as they weigh the case against Donnie Spillers. The involuntary manslaughter charge, tampering with evidence, lying, falsifying statements, and violating his oath of office.

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