Jurors listen to video statements of Phillip Deckard

BEDFORD – Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge John Plummer III ruled this morning in the murder trial of Phillip “Butch” Deckard that the jurors will listen to and see the video interviews between Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Jim Slone and Deckard.

Phillip “Butch” Deckard

You can view the trial via live-stream at this link.

Deckard, 58, is accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend Charlene Silvers after a domestic dispute on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at the home the couple shared at 2738 Maul Ridge Road.

Officials say Deckard and Silvers had a 13-year relationship. Silvers died from her injuries on Thursday, August 27, 2020, at 7:24 p.m.

Charlene Silvers

Lawrence County Prosecutor Sam Arp and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Allison Chopra are presenting the case for the state. Martinsville Attorney John Boren is defending Deckard.

Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department Detective Capt. Jim Slone testified to statements he took from Deckard at the hospital and at the Sheriff’s Department and regarding the evidence gathered at the scene.

Wednesday afternoon, Capt. Slone told jurors he interviewed Deckard twice for a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes.

This morning, Defense attorney Boren said the jurors deserve to see the interviews because of the misrepresentation of testimony presented so far in the case.

One example was in Capt. Slone’s report he noted that Deckard said he shot and killed Silvers, however Attorney Boren said that statement was taken out of context.

“He didn’t say I killed her but said the gun went off and killed her, is that not correct?” Boren asked Slone.

Slone testified, “I could have put it down wrong.”

Boren then told Judge Plummer that Deputy Prosecutor Allison Chopra “cherry picked” what she wanted the jury to hear.

He then requested Judge Plummer allow the jury to hear both interviews to get the whole picture.

Judge Plummer then recessed to research Indiana law. After a short break he ruled in favor of the defense saying the jurors should not get a “distorted picture of the evidence”.

“The deputy prosecutor asked a long list of questions about the statements of the defendant and the evidence,” said Judge Plummer in his ruling. “To avoid any misinterpretations or misrepresentations to the jury, it justifies them seeing the video statements.”

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Allison Chopra objected to Judge Plummer’s ruling. She objected to the entire concept of the statements being played for the jury.

“This is a done deal with this court,” ruled Judge Plummer. “The state opened this door and the defense has the right to provide a defense.”