Defense continues to call witnesses in Day 6 of Dabrett Black capital murder trial

Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 12:21 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2022 at 3:05 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Day six of testimony in the capital murder trial of an East Texas man continued Monday morning. Dabrett Black is on trial for killing DPS Trooper Damon Allen on Thanksgiving Day 2017 in Freestone County. The defense has been calling their witnesses since last week after the state rested early Wednesday morning.

Black is accused of gunning down Trooper Allen during a traffic stop on I-45 after he’d been pulled over for driving 100 mph. Monday morning the court heard from Randy Newman, who served four deployments in the Army and spent some time with Dabrett Black in Iraq. Newman talked about the lack of mental health care for soldiers on deployment and saw Black’s behavior change before the defendant was transitioned out of the Army.

Jeffery Lewine, Ph.D. who is an expert in neuroscience also spoke to the jury extensively about evaluations conducted on Black’s brain. Lewine also spoke about Black’s mental health, which includes PTSD, a traumatic brain injury, and Schizophrenia and how it can impact behavior.

Defense attorneys have admitted Black shot and killed Trooper Allen but they said last Monday he should be found not guilty because of the mental illness factors. However an insanity defense was dropped in exchange for the death penalty being removed.

KBTX Legal Analyst Shane Phelps discussed the strategy the defense is using in this case.

“So much depends, from what I understand of their strategy, on what the judge is going to allow into evidence. Since they’ve already admitted that he committed the offense, really the only evidence they can produce is going to be evidence to show that state of mind,” said Phelps.

The jury has been instructed to return by 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, while the attorneys at 8:30 a.m.

Black faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. The trial is expected to conclude later this week.

News 3′s Clay Falls is covering the trial each day and providing live Tweets inside the courtroom. Cameras are still not allowed inside the court proceedings.

We have our coverage from Friday here.