Trial begins for woman accused in involuntary manslaughter case
by Brande Poulnot
Sep 29, 2010 | 2375 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The five-man, seven-woman jury chosen Tuesday to hear the case of Lakeisha Arnita Talley, 24, who is accused in connection with the death of 19-year-old Lane Alan Gann Jr., is poised to decide whether the shooting was an accident or if Talley was criminally negligent.

In an opening statement, District Attorney Joe Campbell asked the jury to find Talley, of 49 Akron St. in Cartersville, guilty of involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, alleging her conduct the night of Gann's death was reckless. Campbell said the evidence would show Talley traveled to a Glade Road party, at which Gann was present, and brought the bolt-action .22 rifle when she had no training or experience with firearms. Those present at the party, including Talley and Gann, were intoxicated, he added.

Gann thought the rifle was a B.B. gun, Campbell said the evidence would show, and challenged Talley to fire it. The two had not met prior to that evening.

Campbell said Gann died within minutes of the shot, the bullet perforating his heart. Talley was later apprehended and had apparently been hiding under a mobile home -- deputies received a report of burglary in regard to that incident.

But defense attorney Marc Clark told jurors in opening they will have to determine if Talley was running or just scared when she fled the scene of the shooting July 26, 2009. Clark told the jury he expects witnesses called to the stand, including the lead investigator on the case, to testify the shooting was an accident. He pointed to Talley's age at the time of the incident, which was 22, and said jurors would hear several 911 calls in which witnesses said it was an accidental shooting.

One witness was called to the stand Tuesday and testified about Gann's last words -- "Go get my sister." The 18-year-old man who was 17 in July of last year said partygoers were drinking and smoking marijuana. He added he heard Talley speak of a "deuce-deuce," apparently in reference to the rifle. The witness could not recall specifically what Talley said.

Campbell said the evidence would show the loaded gun was in the trunk of the car in which Talley arrived until she and Gann walked over to the car, and Talley retrieved it. He added Talley was "messing" with the firearm just prior to the shot that struck Gann's chest.

Testimony and the presentation of evidence is expected to resume today at 9 a.m. and continue through Thursday.