Testimony continues today in Phillip Deckard murder trial

BEDFORD – Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Jim Slone will continue giving testimony this morning in the murder trial of Phillip “Butch” Deckard in Lawrence County Superior Court I.

Phillip “Butch” Deckard

Judge John Plummer III is presiding. The trial is being live-streamed 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.

Slone told the jury, “It was chaos” at the trailer.

He stated Silvers poured gasoline from the living room to the bedroom and then set the bedroom on fire.

Deckard told Capt. Slone, he filled a large tote full of water at least two times to douse the flames.

Police found a 5-gallon gas can inside the trailer. Cap Slone testified the trailer reeked of gasoline. However, police did not collect that gas can as evidence.

Attorney Boren asked why and Capt. Slone could not give an answer on why it was not collected.

The defense questioned Slone about the fire.

Attorney Boren asked Capt. Slone if Silvers attempted to get Deckard to unlock the outside water spigot so they could put out the fire.

But Deckard told police he was busy trying to extinguish the flames from inside the home to unlock the spigot.

Attorney Boren questioned Capt. Slone about the broken window in the trailer. Slone testified that Deckard said he broke the window with the tote because the trailer was filling with smoke.

Capt. Slone told the jurors that Deckard asked him numerous times during questioning to talk to Silvers and she would confirm the shooting was an accident.

At no time during questioning, Capt. Slone testified that Deckard said he prevent Silvers from leaving the property.

He also told the jury Deckard was very cooperative during his interviews with police.

Testimony Wednesday ended at 3:45 p.m. because attorney Boren had another court commitment and will reconvene this morning at 8:30 a.m.