Jurors will see video interview in murder trial

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 15, 2011

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — Superior Court Judge Kevin Bridges has allowed jurors in the Robert Douglas Earnhardt murder trial to watch a videotaped interview he had with investigators just a day after they say he shot and killed his stepfather, Billy Tommy Elmore.
On Wednesday afternoon jurors were released early so the judge and attorneys could watch the nearly two-hour video.
Bridges told attorneys he would hear their individual arguments for or against the video being viewed by jurors before the jury came into the courtroom.
Assistant District Attorney Barrett Poppler indicated there were things Earnhardt said on the video that were told to him by a third party. There was no way to verify the information and he wanted the court to accept it as hearsay.
He wanted a portion of the video to be played, while Earnhardt’s attorney, Jay White, wanted it all.
“It does shed some light on why he acted in the manner in which he did,” Bridges said.
The judge said he would allow the video in its entirety, but with instructions that explain the video and some statements contained in the video are being offered to show Earnhardt’s state of mind.
See Friday’s Post for more details.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.