Local News

Deputy Testifies About His Co-Worker's Slaying

Posted May 28, 1996

— May 29, 1996 - 8:30 p.m. EDT

The widow of a slain deputy ran from the courtroom in tears today as prosecutors played tapes of his last calls to 9-1-1.

In emotional testimony Wednesday, a Johnston County sheriff's deputy recreated the scene that led to the Sept. 11 shooting death of his partner, Deputy Paul West (pictured below, left).

The scene described by Lt. Ronald Medlin differed greatly from the opening statements presented by the defense attorney for Angel Guevara, who is being tried on charges of first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Guevara showed no reaction to Medlin's testimony, which prompted tears from Medlin and his family (pictured below, right), and West's widow Tevnan West (pictured above, left).

The two officers had come to Guevara's home to confirm the address of a suspect in an assault case, according to authorities.

``Lt. Medlin says Paul West raised up his hand and said `Now wait a minute,''' Johnston County Assistant District Attorney Mike Beam said. ``And then Lt. Medlin heard what he'll describe as a gunshot.

``Paul went down. Face down.''

Guevara fled to New York after the shooting at his mobile home. He was captured by authorities at a phone booth at Penn Station.

But Guevara's lawyer says a weapon was fired after he tried to wrest his 2-1/2-year-old adopted son, Joshua, from West, said Tommy Manning, his court-appointed attorney.

West was ``using a two-and-a-half-year-old son as a shield and had his gun lowered at the defendant,'' Manning told the jury.

In the statement he made to investigators, Guevara said he shot West because he thought the deputy was going to harm his son. Guevara said he did not intend to shoot Medlin, but only wanted to scare him, said the statement, which can be used as evidence in the trial.

Prosecutors called Medlin as their first witness to recall the events of the day in question. He was being cross-examined by the defense Tuesday afternoon.

In a hearing held during pretrial motions, Medlin testified the deputies went to the home looking for Jose Rosado, not knowing that was one of several names Guevara used.

They met up with the suspect, who had a small boy with him. After the officers radioed for outstanding warrants against him, Guevara tried to flee from the officers, Medlin said. West followed the suspect, and the deputy cried out before being shot, he said. Medlin testified that he himself was then shot.

The 12-member jury and three alternatives was chosen after nine days of questioning by attorneys in the case. Nash County residents were selected to minimize the effects of pretrial publicity in Johnston County.

The trial is expected to last about three weeks.

Copyright ©1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.


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