Sister refutes 'suicide by boyfriend' theory

Leslie Edward Smith

August 25, 2010 5:17:22 PM PDT
Prosecutors in court Wednesday countered a defense theory that a woman was shot in Wake Forest last year because she wanted to commit "suicide by boyfriend."

Sixty-three-year-old Leslie "Lester" Smith is on trial for shooting 48-year-old Jaquelyn Larue Gore in his Wake Forest home July 26, 2009.

Smith's attorney has told jurors his client fired the fatal shot, but that Smith was under tremendous stress - opening the way to argue for second-degree murder.

He also claimed the victim was a violent drunk with a history of suicide attempts who virtually forced Smith to shoot her - opening the way to argue for acquittal.

Wednesday, the prosecution responded by showing jurors Smith’s videotaped confession.

"I can't justify this. I mean, it's stupid. Like you said, I could have just beat the s---- out of her," Smith tells a detective.

At times in the video confession Smith is crying.

"I just don't know what happened," he says.

At one point, he breaks down while talking about his grandchildren.

"Hell, they'll probably be better off without their crazy grandfather," he says.

Watching his video statement in court, Smith broke down in tears. So did members of his family seated behind him.

Two days before the shooting, Smith was laid off from his job of 20 years.

He and Gore argued and fought and sheriff's deputies convinced him to go to his brother's house in the mountains leaving Gore in Smith's home.

When he returned for his medications, he also went to his neighbor's to get his gun back.

He says Gore was drunk and when he realized she planned to sell his guitar collection, he lost it and pulled out the gun.

"She says, 'What, you gonna shoot me?' She just marched right up to me," Smith tells the detective in the video.

"And you did?" the detective asks.

"I did," Smith responds.

"Was it your intention when you went in the trailer to shoot her?" asks the detective.

"No. It was my intention to get my medication," says Smith.

Late Wednesday, Gore's sister took the stand.

She said her sister was the best person in the world when she was sober, but her mouth got her in trouble when she was drunk.

She was also asked about the defense theory of “suicide by boyfriend.”

“Do you believe she tried to commit suicide?" asked District Attorney Colon Willoughby.

"Absolutely not,” Terry Gore responded.

The trial is expected to continue Thursday.

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