Tooley trial continues - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Tooley trial continues

A three-year-old Louisville murder case has finally made it to the courtroom.  Prosecutors say 23-year-old Davon Tooley shot and killed 19-year-old Jerrell Vitt in April of 2006.

Both the prosecution and defense agree that Davon Tooley shot and killed Jerrell Vitt, but Tooley's attorney says it was self-defense.  Defense attorney Misty Clark said in court, "Those three guys came in, and they had robbery on their mind."

Defense attorneys say the problems with Davon Tooley and Jerrell Vitt started in the bathroom of a nightclub in January of 2006.  Clark said, "Only one group of individuals was armed that night, and that left Davon and his friends unable to do anything to stop what was about to happen."

The defense says Vitt and another man robbed Tooley at gunpoint three days before the murder.   Clark explained in court, "That 'Dre had the gun pointed at Davon, at his friends and at him, and as Davon begged him, 'Please man, don't do this' -- Dre and Jerrell took off his watch, they dug in his pocket and took his phone."

Tooley and Vitt would eventually cross paths again outside an apartment on Permerland Drive, and that's where the prosecution and defense disagree on what happened next.  "And there's no doubt that his shots killed Jerrell Vitt, there's no doubt," Clark said, "but that's a justifiable homicide -- it is not murder."

But prosecutors say Tooley was out for revenge for the robbery, calling him a cold-blooded killer.  Witness Keith Maddox said, "Somebody rung his phone, he ran got up, cocked his gun, opened his door, ran up the steps, and all you heard was shots fired."

Keith Maddox is one of several witnesses.  He did not actually see the shooting but saw both Tooley and Vitt afterwards.  When asked what happened when he heard gunshots and what he did, he replied, "We all looked out the window, because it shocked us, looked out the window, seen him standing over his body and then he took off across the street."

The trial is expected to last for about two weeks.

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