Jury deliberates in 2011 Thanksgiving Day shooting trial - WSMV Channel 4

NOT GUILTY: Jury reaches verdict in 2011 Thanksgiving shooting

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Kevin Chitty stands to receive not guilty verdict. Kevin Chitty stands to receive not guilty verdict.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A jury found Kevin Chitty not guilty of second degree attempted murder and aggravated assault Friday.

It all started on Thanksgiving day of 2011 when police say Jerry Martin rear-ended Kevin Chitty's truck. When Martin tried to leave the scene, Chitty opened fire, hitting Martin in the face and neck, leaving him paralyzed for life.

Martin took the stand Thursday, wheeled in on a bed. He said he felt threatened by Chitty, and after seeing his gun and tried to get away.

Closing arguments wrapped up Thursday and the jury deliberated until Friday afternoon. Both Jerry Martin, and his accused shooter, Kevin Chitty took the stand. Both gave different versions of what happened that Thanksgiving night.

Jerry Martin, paralyzed from the neck down, gave testimony from his hospital bed in court.

"What I seen was a man get out of the car with a gun in his hand," Martin testified.

Martin says after he rear-ended Chitty's truck, he got out screaming and cursing at him and pulled out his gun. That's why he started to drive off.

"You going to sit there and keep talking to him and let him shoot you? Let him kill you? You answer that question for me," Martin said, directing his comments toward Chitty's attorney.

Martin denies Chitty's claims that he waived a gun at him first.

"If I stuck something (out the window), I still would have had it on me when I crashed my car," said Martin.

"I was trying to stay alive," testified Kevin Chitty.

Kevin Chitty says with his two sons and grandson in his truck, he only fired in self defense.

"Where you in fear for your life? Were you in fear for the life of Jalen and Nicholas?" asked Chitty's attorney, Lee Davis. "Yes. That's my family. My whole family was out there," said Martin.

In the 911 call Chitty made right after the shooting, he tells the dispatcher he thought Martin had a gun.

"A guy just run into the back of my car. I don't know if he was trying to rob me and pointed a gun and I shot at him in self defense," said Martin in the 911 call.

Police never found a gun in Martin's car after he crashed. Chitty says he did not have a choice.

"Was my direct plan to go out there and shoot him? No it wasn't. That wasn't my intention to shoot him, no," said Martin.

Chitty's attorneys brought up the fact Martin has a criminal history and was driving on a revoked license at the time of the accident. But Martin told the court from his bed that does not matter, that Chitty shot him for no reason.

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