March 10, 2010 —
When she and her daughter moved in with him, Emerson informed Barbara of a 12-gauge shotgun kept loaded under the bed.
He also admitted to the court to owning several other guns that remained locked in a gun cabinet. He said the shotgun was kept loaded due to numerous robberies and break-ins that had happened on Fighting Fork. He said the gun was for protection from burglars and wild animals, as he lived close to a wooded area.
Emerson told the jurors he had another encounter with Lawrence prior to the shooting. “It was my son Sammy’s wedding,” Emerson said. “It was Richard, Barb and two of her sisters. We were all drinking, talking and playing Cds from my car stereo. I then turned off the car and, as I often do, went for a walk in the woods next my house.”
Emerson said when he returned from his walk Lawrence was inside the car and had the ignition on. Emerson told him to get out of the car before the battery ran down.
“He got a little mouthy and then left,” Emerson told the courtroom. “But he did want to fight and said he would whip my ass. I told him I didn’t want any problems with him.”
Later that day, Emerson said he got ready to leave for his job with the Local 798 Pipeliner Unit. The job site was near Logan, W.Va. Emerson and his son Sammy left Aug. 1 and returned home Aug. 7.
The day of the shooting, Emerson said he got up and did his routine Saturday errands such as going to the bank, paying bills and visiting with friends.
He also stopped and purchased a case of beer. He told the court he drank six to eight beers on a daily basis. He began to drink at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 8, and said he had consumed about 10 to 12 beers by 7:45 p.m.