July 20, 2012
HAZARD – A Perry County man whose initial trial ended without a verdict is back in court this week as prosecutors will again attempt to convince a jury that he tried to murder another man in September 2010.
Bonnyman resident Tracy Napier, 38, sat through several days of jury selection and testimony during the original trial in August 2011. He had been arrested 11 months earlier on charges of attempted murder after he allegedly shot another man during a confrontation near Napier’s home on Napier Cemetery Road. The trial ended during jury deliberation after Circuit Judge Bill Engle declared a mistrial as the jury was unable to render a verdict.
According to testimony, Napier had confronted a man identified as Carl Holbrook at a trailer park in Perry County on the day of the shooting. Napier eventually left the scene, though later Holbrook and another man, Paul Wooton, arrived at Napier’s home where a second verbal altercation occurred, eventually resulting in the shooting that left Holbrook seriously injured and Napier in jail.
Defense attorney John Hansen last week framed Napier’s case as one of a right to self-defense, and said that he will use “pretty much the same defense” in the new trial, which began on Monday with jury selection.
“We have a guy who was on his family’s own land, on his own driveway, who was actually followed home by two people who tried to throw him off his motorcycle and beat him up and threaten him,” Hansen said, noting that they were also armed with a pistol.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Teresa Reed noted during the original trial that Holbrook wasn’t armed at the time that Napier shot him, and pointed to testimony from Wooton that Holbrook only became armed when Wooton tossed him a gun after Napier had already shot him.
Napier is currently out of jail on home incarceration.
The Herald will provide updates on this trial as it continues this week at our website at www.hazard-herald.com.