Update: Injured victim testifies during in-law slaying trial - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Update: Injured victim testifies during in-law slaying trial


Today was the first day of testimony in the trial for Lonnie Jacob Ragan whois accused of murdering his sister in-law during a custody battle over his sonin 2011.

In opening statements, the Defense claims the shooting was self defense.

Ragan is charged with two counts of murder, several counts of aggravatedassault, unlawful handling of explosives, possession of explosives by aconvicted felon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon stemming fromthe August 2011 murder of 28-year-old Holly Laurel Hearn.

Authorities report that Ragan went to Hearn's home at 5912 Billings Ct.,demanding to know where his son was. Upon arrival, Ragan allegedly pointed ashotgun in his brother-in-law Ryan Hearn's face. That was when Holly confrontedRagan with a .38-caliber handgun.

Police say Ragan shot Holly in the chest with the shotgun at close range.Holly fell to the ground; her husband, Ryan, ran for cover, but Ragan shot himbefore he could get away, according to police.

Ryan was shot in the upper buttocks and hand. He says he was in the hospitalfor a week after the shooting, could not walk for three months, and is still inconstant pain due to the injuries.

A neighbor testified that he saw Ragan stand over Ryan's injured body andattempt to shoot him again, but the gun jammed. The same neighbor also saidtension had been brewing for a while within the family, and police had beencalled to the home several times.

Ryan testified today that Ragan had a tumultuous marriage with the victim'ssister, Desiree, and the trouble spilled over into his family, ending with hiswife dead. Ryan says he had just gotten off of work, and was playing with hisson when he heard his wife yell at Ragan.

Ryan says Holly grabbed a family weapon they had purchased for protectionwhen Ragan charged onto their property.

The entire incident reportedly occurred in front of the couples' children,according to Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Cooley. The 7-year-old childalso testified in court today.

The Defense says Ragan only fired after Hearn approached him with a smallrevolver, but Hearn's best friend testified that victim never pointed the gunat Ragan.

Due to the emotion invoked by the large pictures of the victim, familycrying and jurors reaction, the Defense requested a mistrial. Judge McBridedenied the request.

After the original incident, Ragan took off in his truck, but later turnedhimself in at Harris County.

News Leader 9's Brittany Dionne will be tweeting live from inside thecourtroom while court is in session. You may follow her here:https://twitter.com/BrittanyD_WTVM.

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