Second day of trial for man accused of shooting trooper focuses on autopsy results

Dabrett Black faces life in prison without possibility of parole if convicted.
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 4:18 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2022 at 6:35 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Day two of testimony continues in the Dabrett Black murder trial in Brazos County.

He’s on trial for allegedly killing State Trooper Damon Allen on Thanksgiving Day in 2017 during a traffic stop on I-45 in Freestone County.

Tuesday’s testimony included more details from experts on the autopsy of Trooper Allen. The jury saw graphic photos showing how a rifle bullet damaged the trooper’s head. The defense objected to the autopsy photos but the judge allowed two to be shared in front of the jury.

Dallas County Medical Examiner Dr. Chester Gwin, who performed the autopsy, took the stand, saying Allen was killed by that gunshot wound to the head.

Former Texas Ranger and current Madison County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Steven Jeter testified about his interaction with Black after he was in custody. Black said on body camera footage he would have come out of the woods shooting if he’d still had a gun.

Jeter said the high-powered rifle found by Black’s car had 66 rounds still in the cannister. About six to seven bullets were unaccounted for. Jeter said the suspect’s gun was damaged and jammed.

Black faces life without the possibility of parole if found guilty. The death penalty was taken off the table after an agreement was reached between the State and defense. The defense said in opening arguments their client should be found not guilty because of severe mental illnesses he suffers from after serving multiple tours in Iraq in the military. The defense has said Black suffers from Schizophrenia, PTSD, anxiety and a traumatic brain injury.

Tuesday the jury also saw dash camera footage showing Trooper Damon Allen being fired upon multiple times after he’d made a traffic stop for a driver going 100 miles-per-hour in Fairfield. Texas Ranger Jake Burson walked the jury through his interrogation of Black as well as the dash camera footage of the traffic stop. He identified Black in the courtroom as the suspect and said Trooper Allen’s conduct looked professional during the traffic stop. Allen was sitting in his vehicle waiting for backup when he was killed. Dispatch audio indicated Black had warrants out of Anderson and Smith Counties.

The trial is expected to last up to two weeks and testimony is expected to resume Wednesday at 9 a.m.

News 3′s Clay Falls is also providing live Tweets from the trial.

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