Accused Teen Takes the Stand in Eggleston Murder Case
Posted July 19, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — A Cumberland County teen accused in the murder of a classmate returned to the stand Wednesday in her own defense.
Shanon Tyson, who spent a total of four hours answering questions, maintains she had nothing to do with the 1997 strangling and murder of Chris Eggleston.
Tyson's attorney continued his questioning with just a few inquiries. He asked the accused murderer if at any time she entered into an agreement with Matthew Myers, who haspleaded guilty to second-degree murderin the case, to kill Eggleston.
She replied, "No sir. I do not believe in harming another human being." In cross-examination, the state tried to prove otherwise.
Tyson's testimony was strong during cross-examination. She consistently raised her voice when questioned about the inconsistencies in her statements. She also accused investigators and some school administrators of lying.
After very persistent questioning, Tyson said her written statements were untrue. Court observers say she became very defensive and at one point said to the prosecutor, "Sir, please don't change my words around."
Tyson cried and asked the judge for a moment to regain her composure.
She said she had a feeling Myers would beat up Eggleston but denied instigating it.
"You didn't go and warn Chris Eggleston after you had the feeling Matt Myers would beat him up?" asked prosecutor Cal Colyer.
"I didn't have a chance," Tyson said.
"You didn't tell him because you knew what was going to happen," Colyer said.
"I am denying your allegations," Tyson said.
While on the witness stand Tuesday afternoon, Tyson said that Eggleston fell out of favor with her group the "Kindred" because he was spreading rumors about them. But Tyson insisted that she never suggested to anyone in the group that they physically harm or kill Eggleston.
"Did you make the statement during any type of trial that traditionally when someone betrays the group they're killed?" asked defense attorney Coy Brewer.
"No, I did not," Tyson said.
Myers said in aprison interviewthat Tyson ordered the killing.
Tyson testified that Myers said he would "take care" of Eggleston. She also said that Myers threatened to go on a crime spree and get himself killed because Tyson refused to go out with him.
Tyson said she was afraid that Myers was going to beat up Eggleston, but never feared anything other than that.
"I asked him, 'Why are you meeting Chris today?'" Tyson said during the trial. "He said he was going to take care of him. I was worried that he was going to get into a fight with Chris, and I didn't want to have anything to do with it."
Tyson also said that when Eggleston disappeared, she feared that he was murdered. She said that she did not tell investigators because she was afraid of Myers.
The defense rested its case at 5:20 p.m. Closing arguments are expected to begin mid-morning Thursday. andMelissa Buscher