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Touch led to death?
Murder trial begins in Somerville slaying

By Sheryl Marsh · 340-2437

A prosecutor alleges touching a woman’s leg led to a fight and the shooting death of a Cullman man visiting a Somerville home a year ago.

Mark Anthony Callahan, 37, of Somerville is on trial for murder in Morgan County Circuit Court. He is charged in the July 3, 2006, death of Ricky Wayne Gilley, 30, of Cullman.

In his opening statement to the jury Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Paul Mat-thews said evidence will show that Callahan picked up Gilley and his girlfriend the night of the shooting. Matthews said all were drinking and at some point Callahan started touching Gilley’s girlfriend on the leg. He said a confrontation occurred between the two men and Callahan fatally shot Gilley.

The defense told jurors a different version of events.

Callahan’s attorney, Larry Madison, is arguing self-defense. He said evidence will show that Gilley had been playing with the defendant’s gun. When the fight started, the gun went off and shot Gilley.

A forensic pathologist testified that Gilley died from a gunshot wound to the chest. The bullet traveled through his heart and a lung.

The pathologist said the stippling on Gilley’s body indicates the two were close when the shooting occurred.

A neighbor told police on the night of the shooting, he thought he heard fireworks after he heard a child say, “No, Daddy, no.”

The child’s plea came before July 4 when fireworks are often heard. Testimony from state witnesses will continue Thursday in Judge Haddock’s courtroom.

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