Murder trial: Mother’s 911 call played during testimony
The mother of murder victim Brian Spalding sat stoically in court Thursday and listened to her own anguished 911 call, made as her son was kicked to death in front of her.
Angie Spalding was the first witness on the stand as the trial of Christopher Nix and Scott Hollingshead, the brothers accused of killing her son, got under way in Nevada County Superior Court.
Hollingshead and Nix reportedly had been lying in wait for Brian Spalding at the Banner Mountain residence on the night of April 14, 2014; he died at the scene of multiple blunt-force trauma.
Angie Spalding testified that she was awake and had been watching the news on television when she heard a tapping sound and then a horn honking outside. She said she went to the window and saw two people in hooded sweatshirts punching Brian and trying to drag him out of his car.
Brian was kicking at the assailant on his side of the car, yelling, “Get out, get out,” she said, adding that he told her to call the police.
Angie Spalding testified that she ran inside for her phone and called 911, then came back outside to see Brian partially out of the car, face up.
“I was yelling for them to stop,” she said. “They were kicking him — over and over and over.”
The two men stopped and looked at her when she yelled that the police were coming, and then ran away through her back yard, she said.
During the 911 recordings, Angie Spalding initially tells the dispatcher there were three people outside; she later described two men beating Brian up.
On cross-examination Thursday, she explained that she initially responded that there were three people because she was including Brian.
Several of the first responders testified Thursday as well.
Nevada County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Hare testified that he was the first patrol officer on the scene and described Brian Spalding’s condition when he arrived.
Spalding was still partially in the vehicle, Hare said, lying on his back in a large pool of blood.
“He was non-responsive,” Hare said, adding there was no sign he was breathing.
During opening statements, acting Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Ow told the jury that the murder suspects left evidence everywhere, which was not surprising given the brutality of the crime.
But Stephen Munkelt, Hollingshead’s attorney, said that while the brutal murder was a fact established beyond a reasonable doubt, there was not sufficient evidence to link his client and Nix to the crime.
Nix faces charges of murder with special allegations of lying in wait, aiding murder and that a principal was armed with a firearm during the commission of the crime, and a charge of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, with a special allegation that a principal was armed with a firearm during the commission of the crime.
Hollingshead is charged with murder with special allegations of lying in wait, intentional discharge of a firearm causing death or great bodily injury, and that a principal was armed with a firearm during the commission of the crime, as well as shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, with special allegations of intentional discharge of a firearm causing death or great bodily injury and that a principal was armed with a firearm during the commission of the crime.
The trial will resume Tuesday.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.
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