Tools

McPherson on Trial for Lane Express Shooting

By Empriss Campbell
By ecampbell@wbbjtv.com

The trial of a former Lane College student charged with first degree murder is underway.

Roger McPherson could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of killing Michael Bell outside of Lane Express Mart in 2010.

"If you were having the worst day of your life, that man could make you smile. He had a laugh that you could hear from across the room," said Shannon Scott.

Wednesday, Scott sat in this Madison County courtroom and listened to several investigators describe in detail the circumstances surrounding his death.

The prosecution showed surveillance video of the entire incident between Roger McPherson and the victim. The video showed a man who appeared to be McPherson pull out a gun and shoot Michael Bell.

"I found the bullet went through the skin, the next thing it hit was the left hipbone it broke the bone and went through it," said Medical Examiner Thomas Deering.

Investigators said they know McPherson did it because of the Polo brand sweatshirt he was wearing.

But, according to authorities McPherson said he had an alibis for the night of the murder.

"This girl Vanessa hit me up on my phone around 7, something, we sat behind Harper Hall and smoking a black and mild with her cousin. We chilled and talked for a couple of hours and then I went back to my room, watched TV for a little while then went to sleep," said Investigator, Aubrey Richardson.

An investigator testified, McPherson was not the only one with a gun that night. He said the victim had a B.B. gun in his pocket, which was found later near his body.

The victim's friend and mother of his 11-year-old daughter said Bell was not perfect, but did not deserve this.

"It's all going to come out in the trial and you know I hope justice will be served. I'm trying to find it in my heart to forgive Mr. McPherson and his family. I'm not there yet, but I'm definitely working on it," said Scott.

The trial will continue Thursday and could go through the rest of the week.