Billy Joe Shaver Assault Trial to Begin Soon
Texas country music legend Billy Joe Shaver says he's ready to take the stand in his trial on aggravated assault charges stemming from a shooting incident three years ago. According to KWTX in Waco, Texas, Billy Joe will soon get that wish, as jury selection began today (April 6) in the 54th District Court.
"Goodness gracious, I can't believe they even indicted me, but that's cool if that's what they want to do," Billy Joe said this weekend outside his Waco home.
The shooting happened on March 31, 2007, outside Papa Joe's Saloon in Lorena, Texas. The singer shot Billy B. Coker in what his lawyer, Joseph Turner, insists was an act of self-defense.
Turner says his client reported that a drunk, aggressive stranger with a knife followed him into the parking lot as the singer was leaving the bar. However, the affidavit submitted for the arrest warrant says a witness told investigators that Billy Joe followed the man out of the bar, asking, "Where do you want it?" before shooting him in the face.
Another witness said he heard Billy Joe tell Coker, "Tell me you are sorry" and "Nobody tells me to shut up," after hearing the gunfire. The 50-year-old victim was talking and alert after the incident and was hospitalized. Billy Joe, who has a concealed handgun permit, turned himself in to authorities in April 2007 after an arrest warrant was issued. He was later released after posting a $50,000 bond.
Prosecutors say the trial is expected to last about three or four days, which has Billy Joe relieved to put this all behind him. "I just feel great," Billy says. "Shoot yeah, wouldn't you? Finally going to get it over with."
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