The testimony was familiar, with Eric Lively being accused of making death threats and hitting a man with his silver Toyota pickup truck. But this time the alleged victim was alive and on the witness stand.
On Friday, former Shelter Cove resident Trampus Danhaur testified that in November 2013, Lively arrived at his Fawn Drive home screaming that he was going to kill him. Then, Danhaur said under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada, Lively accelerated and drove right at him.
“There were several threats along the lines of ‘I caught you on camera; I know what you did; I’m going to come back over and kill you guys,’ ” Danhaur said.
Then, he testified, Lively drove away like he was going to leave, but instead he whipped his truck around.
“He turned around and just came right at me with his truck,” Danhaur said. When the pickup truck reached him, he placed his hands on the hood and sprang sideways into the yard. He was not hurt, but his girlfriend called 911.
Lively is on trial for the alleged May 3 murder of his neighbor Jesse Simpson, who died shortly after the same Toyota truck hit him in the intersection of Debbie Lane and Eileen Road in Shelter Cove. Prior to the fatal collision, Lively had told co-workers he was going to kill his neighbor. He was convinced Jesse Simpson and his brother were stealing from him.
Before Danhaur took the stand, Judge Christopher Wilson told jurors his testimony was to be considered for “a limited purpose.” He said that purpose would be explained to them later.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Russ Clanton, Danhaur said he had hit Lively’s truck with a bamboo stick as he drove by him again. He admitted he hadn’t told sheriff’s officers about that when he first spoke with them.
Also, Danhaur acknowledged that in 2015, he pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon after he tried to run over his girlfriend’s brother. Danhaur was driving a truck and the brother was on a motorcycle.
Finally, Danhaur said it was true he once went to the Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire Department claiming people were trying to kill him, and as a result he was involuntarily committed to a mental-health facility.
After the 2013 incident between Lively and Danhaur, Lively was arrested but never charged.
Clanton told Danhaur that was because “they didn’t believe a word you said.”
But in earlier court hearings, the prosecutor said the deputy district attorney doing the charging had decided the incident was a case of “mutual combat.”
Also on Friday, sheriff’s Cpl. David Diemers, who responded to that incident, testified Lively told him Danhaur still owed him $1,200 for some marijuana he sold him.
The testimony capped a strange day in which one juror, a middle-aged man, was kicked off the panel. First all 12 jurors and three alternates were called one-by-one into the courtroom and questioned. Afterward the apparently errant juror was called back in, then left the courthouse abruptly without speaking to other jurors. One of the alternates took his place.
The courtroom was closed to the public during all the questioning.
Testimony was expected to continue Monday afternoon.
- LIVELY TRIAL, DAY ONE: Shelter Cove Murder-by-Truck Trial Begins, With Prosecution and Defense Laying Out Dramatically Different Cases
- LIVELY TRIAL, DAY TWO: Daughter of Shelter Cove Murder Suspect Testifies, Says That Father Told Her Not to Call Police
- LIVELY TRIAL, DAY THREE: Trial Mysteriously Suspended, Jurors Sent Home
- LIVELY TRIAL, DAY FOUR: Boss Testifies Accused Shelter Cove Murderer Said ‘He Might Go Kill His Neighbor’
- LIVELY TRIAL, DAY FIVE: Police, Firefighter Testify About Victim’s Last Minutes, Subsequent Investigation
- LIVELY TRIAL, DAY SIX: Police Testify That Fatal Collision Took Place in the Middle of the Road, Suggesting Victim May Have Been at Fault