Jury: Marshall County Man Guilty in Son’s Murder

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A Marshall County jury has reached a verdict in the trial of J.C. Samuels.  The jury found him guilty in his son’s murder.

The jury announced the verdict at 4:18 p.m.

Judge Tim Jolley set Samuels’ bond at $100,000.  His sentencing is scheduled for September 23 at 1:30 p.m.

Closing arguments took place Thursday morning in the trial.  The defense rested without calling any witnesses.

In testimony Wednesday, J.C. Samuels’ defense attorney told jurors that his client was afraid of his son Gregory.    He says that fear lead to the fatal shooting of Gregory Samuels back on September 14, 2009.

Disclaimer: The language in this report is strong. We are quoting directly from testimony at the trial.

Prosecutors called police witnesses who laid out the details of what happened the night of the shooting.   One officer said that as Samuels was being taken into custody that he said something like, “I wish I had done it a lot sooner.”   The officer also said Samuels appeared cocky and proud of what he had done.

However, the defense painted a much different picture.   They contend Gregory Samuels was a bully and someone his father feared.  They claim the son strangled a dog and killed two parakeets shortly before the shooting.

A prosecution witnesses, David Smith, who witnessed the events of the shooting said he heard Gregory Samuels say that he was going to bash in his father’s head.   He says he also heard Samuels say of his father that he was going to give him “an ass whoopin.”

Smith says that about a month before the shooting, Gregory Samuels walked up and punched his father in the face.   Smith called police but when officers arrived J.C. Samuels did not want to press charges.

Smith testified that about an hour before the shooting, he and Gregory Samuels left to go to the beer store.   When they returned, Smith says Gregory got out of the truck and as he walked toward the house, he fell to the ground.  Smith said he never heard the gunshot.

A police recording of an interview conducted with J.C. Samuels after the shooting was played for jurors.   On the tape Samuels openly admits to what he had done and said he had no choice.   He said he was trying to protect himself, his wife and 17-year-old son.

On the tape you can hear Samuels say, “after I shot him, I walked over to where he was laying and said, ‘whose head are you going to bash in now you son of a bitch?'”

J.C. Samuels can repeatedly be heard telling the investigator that his son “was no good for nothing.”   Samuels told the investigator he hated to have to kill his son, but that it had to be done.

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