Day 5: Emotional Testimony in Ivan Lawyer Trial
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo.- Emotions filled a Mesa County courtroom Friday as more witnesses testified in the negligent homicide trial of Colorado State Trooper Ivan Lawyer.
Lawyer is accused of fatally shooting Redlands resident Jason Kemp while investigating a possible DUI incident. A prerecorded interview with Lawyer was played for the first time for the jury on Friday; the courtroom also heard tearful testimonies from friends of Jason Kemp, who were inside his home when the confrontation began.
In the recorded interview, Lawyer was explaining the sequence of events that happened July 20, 2010. In the video, there were many pauses and breaks as Lawyer became emotional. While watching himself Friday in the recording, Lawyer looked down as he heard himself recall what happened.
Lawyer said the situation began to escalate from a simple knock on the door, to administering pepper spray to Kemp through the cracked door, to finally; seeing Corporal Kirk Firko in the backyard holding two suspects down at gun point.
Lawyer said once he got the front door open, he thought he saw Kemp raise his hand like he had some type of weapon, leaving him no choice he said but to shoot and protect himself.
Two witnesses who were in the home with Kemp also testified Friday saying they were drinking whiskey earlier that day at the river. They said after an altercation that Kemp had with his girlfriend, he began to drink even more.
Anthony Martinez was one of Kemp's friends who was in the house and he states Kemp was extremely drunk. Martinez said he told Kemp to open the door when CSP was knocking, but he refused.
Lawyer said the last words he heard from Kemp were quote, "You know it's illegal for you to come in here." Lawyer said that he believes there was probable cause to enter the house without a search warrant; especially when dealing with a possible DUI case, as there is a two hour limit before evidence begins to deplete.
NewsChannel5 will continue to update this story as new information unfolds.