Experts testify, state rest case in Deckard trial

BEDFORD – A blood-splatter expert and an Indiana State Police crime lab ballistic expert testified this afternoon in the murder trial of Phillip “Butch” Deckard in Lawrence County Superior Court II.

Then the state rests its case.

Phillip “Butch” Deckard

Judge John Plummer III is presiding.

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 and Tonisha Jarrett are defending Deckard.

La Porte County Sheriff’s Department Detective Capt. Patrick Cicero who is a blood splatter expert testified that Silvers was in close proximity to the rifle when it was fired.

Blood splatter was found on the sling of the rifle, which was hanging below the gun when Silvers was shot.

Rafael Perez, an Indiana State Police Crime Lab ballistic expert testified the semi-automatic single-action rifle that Silvers was shot with had a 5 to 7 trigger pull. The trigger pull is the weight in pounds that will cause complete movement of the trigger of a cocked firearm.

The standard-issued weapons that police use have a trigger pull of 11 to 12 pounds and that is so the weapon will not negligently discharge.

The semi-automatic single-action rifle was inspected, it did function properly and there were no abnormalities to the weapon.

The state then rested its case.

Defense attorney John Boren then asked Judge Plummer for a directed verdict on the murder, reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter charges saying the state did not establish a complete cause of death by not calling the forensic pathologist.

However the state argued they did provide the jury with Silvers’ death certificate, proved Silvers was shot at close range and that the firearm was pointed at Silvers.

Judge Plummer denied Boren’s request.

The court then recessed for the day. The trial will continue Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. with the defense presenting their case.