Posted: Feb 6, 2013 9:15 PM by Angela Douglas - MTN News
BILLINGS - The homicide trial of a Billings man accused of fatally shooting his friend at least a dozen times is underway in Yellowstone County District Court.
Jury selection began Tuesday morning and wrapped up shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday in Judge Todd Baugh's courtroom.
Jeffrey Guy, 44, is accused of murdering Scott "Frog" Maxson, 44, on March 20, 2011. Guy has been charged with one count of deliberate homicide and two counts of tampering with evidence.
During opening arguments Wednesday morning, Deputy County Attorney Rod Souza told the jurors, "the State will prove that this is a very simple case of a killing, a cover-up and getting caught."
According to Souza, the homicide is a case of two plans. The defendant's first plan was to cover-up and deny the murder, but when that fell through, he claimed self-defense.
Maxson was killed at some point in the middle of the night on March 19-20, but Guy didn't call 9-1-1 until the next morning claiming he found a body in the alley behind his house.
When Billings police arrived on scene at 738 Broadwater Avenue, they found Maxson's body lying in an alley "riddled with bullets," Souza said.
Guy told police that he was taking out his trash when he found the body in the alley. However, officers quickly noticed an obvious drag trail from Maxson's body leading to Guy's back door. Guy was transported to the Billings Police Department for questioning.
Initially Guy insisted he was innocent, but when the detective started mentioning all the evidence on scene that makes it look as though he committed the crime, Guy confessed.
Souza informed the jurors that Guy told the detective, "I did it. I killed Frog. I shot Frog. Shot him in my house, but I was acting in self-defense."
Guy claimed that Maxson arrived at his house sometime after 10 p.m. on the night of March 19. He said the victim was highly intoxicated. The two men had known each other for years. In fact, in the mid-90s Maxson lived with Guy at that same house.
According to Guy, the two men drank together that night. At some point, Maxson confronted Guy about being a confidential informant for the local drug task force back in the mid-90s. An argument between the men ensued and Guy told police that Maxson removed a mounted, three-foot sword from the wall and threatened him with it. That's when the defendant said he retrieved his firearm and shot Maxson. Guy said that he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed the man.
Forensic testing performed on the sword revealed no evidence of blood or DNA from Maxson, according to Souza. The deputy county attorney also said that there was no evidence of struggle in the small house.
"His story was constantly evolving and constantly changing," Souza told the jurors.
Guy allegedly tried to destroy evidence in his stove and hid the weapon in a sack of laundry in his closet.
Souza also stated that the majority of bullet wounds indicate that Maxson was lying on his back when he was shot.
Guy allegedly shot Maxson at least 12 times with his 45-caliber Mac 10.
Maxson's defense attorney argued that, "Jeff Guy feared for his life and just kept firing until there was nothing left in the gun."
The defense told the jurors that there were a lot of things that Guy did in the hours after the death of Maxson that could have been done differently, but that doesn't mean he is guilty of deliberate homicide.
"The State has not proven that Guy did not act unjustifiably beyond a reasonable doubt," the attorney said.
The prosecution began its case Wednesday afternoon, calling witnesses to the stand.
The trial is expected to last through next week.