A trial got under way Monday morning in the case of a man accused of attacking his neighbor - a case that was delayed when the victim was shot in what authorities said was an apparent attempt to end the legal proceedings.
Louis G. Galloway, 44, is charged with breaking down the door to the New York Street apartment of Michael S. Miller, 48, and attacking the man twice, breaking his ribs and causing other injuries. The incidents occurred Sept. 2, 2005.
The trial originally was to start Dec. 20, but it was postponed after Miller was shot six times outside a home in Ottawa and had to be hospitalized. Prosecutors have alleged Miller's shooting was a plot to keep Galloway's case from moving forward.
Authorities in Franklin County have charged four people - but not Galloway - with plotting to shoot Miller. Among the four is Galloway's sister. Galloway has maintained he had nothing to do with it.
The Ottawa shooting was not part of the trial that started Monday. Instead, attorneys on both sides focused on the original incident, which was 17 months ago.
"This case is about a man who was absolutely out of control," said Mayra Aguirre, a legal intern representing the Douglas County District Attorney's office.
But Galloway's attorney said his client acted in self-defense after Miller attacked him twice over a misunderstanding involving crack cocaine.
"Mr. Miller initiated both fights. Mr. Miller lost both fights, and then (Miller) called 911," defense attorney Jason Billam told jurors in his opening statement.
Miller was the state's first witness Monday afternoon. Miller said that Galloway, a neighbor, had become angry when Miller asked him to leave his apartment and then locked him out. After breaking down the door and roughing Miller up inside the apartment, Galloway attacked him again outside and choked him, Miller said.
Jurors listened to Miller's 911 call.
"He tried to kill me," Miller was heard to tell a dispatcher.
During cross-examination, Billam asked Miller several questions about inconsistencies in the sequence of the fights between his recorded statements in police reports and previous testimony.
Prosecutors finished presenting their case Monday afternoon, and Billam was scheduled to begin Galloway's defense this morning.
As for the Ottawa shooting, a spokeswoman for the Franklin County Attorney's Office said on Monday that of the four people charged with shooting Miller, three people are scheduled for a preliminary hearing in May and the fourth hearing has not been set.