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Murder defendant testifies that shooting was accidental

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at 2:22 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, April 18, 2013, at 6:24 a.m.

A Wichita woman standing trial for second-degree murder told a Sedgwick County jury Wednesday that her gun discharged accidentally when her cousin hit her with a cigarette lighter as the two were arguing in a home they were staying in near Friends University.

Desiree Boone, 35, said she never intended to fire the shot that killed Earle Sullivan Jr.

“Do you remember pulling the trigger?” defense lawyer Casey Cotton asked.

“No, I don’t,” Boone replied.

“When you got hit by the lighter – that’s when the gun went off?” Cotton asked.

“Exactly,” she said.

“Were you trying to shoot anyone?”

“No.”

Boone, 35, is standing trial this week in the Nov. 7, 2011, death of Sullivan, 47. Prosecutors say the killing was done “unintentionally but recklessly” and involved “extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

Wichita police said Sullivan was killed when a bullet from Boone’s gun went through a wall and struck him in the head as he was visiting a home at 1818 W. Mentor.

Boone told the jury that she was holding the gun because she was afraid of her cousin, Adam Barney, who she said had threatened her with nunchucks.

“He was swinging chains,” she said in a reference to the nunchucks.

“Did he ever hit you with these chains?” Cotton asked.

“He came close a couple of times,” she said.

The case is expected to go to the jury on Thursday.

Reach Hurst Laviana at 316-268-6499 or hlaviana@wichitaeagle.com.

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