Teenager's Attorney Says Estranged Girlfriend's Shooting Death An Accident - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Teenager's Attorney Says Estranged Girlfriend's Shooting Death An Accident

GULFPORT(WLOX)--Testimony began on Tuesday in the trial of a teenager accused of killing his estranged teenaged girlfriend. Nineteen-year-old Jonathan Barfield is charged with shooting Tiffany Talley in December of 2006 at his Harrison County home. Barfield's attorney contends it was an accident.  However, the state is trying to prove its case for murder.

Former Harrison County sheriff's deputy Joey Fore was the state's first witness. He testified that after a 911 call came in about a shooting on Canal Road, he was the first to arrive at the FEMA trailer park.  Fore says he approached the trailer door and shouted for whoever was inside to come out. Fore said the person who emerged was Jonathan Barfield.

Fore said "Mr. Barfield responded 'It was an accident. I didn't mean to shoot her, and I threw the gun over the fence.'"

Fore continued "I entered the trailer. I observed the victim face down in a large pool of blood. I scanned the room really quick. On the coffee table in one room were two boxes of 22 shells."

Deputy Glenn Rowe was also one of the first officers to find Tiffany Talley, a Gulfport High senior, shot to death inside Barfield's FEMA trailer. In court, Deputy Row testified that Barfield immediately admitted to killing Talley.

Rowe said Barfield appeared as if he were crying. "As I put him in my car, he made the statement "It was an accident."

However, prosecutors hope to prove to a jury the 17-year-old Tiffany Talley's death was not an accident but murder. One of Tiffany Talley's co-workers testified Talley had told him she was afraid Jonathan Barfield would hurt her.

Walter Jackson said "I think I posed the question to her why are they still together? Her statement to me was she's scared to leave him because she's unsure of what he's gonna do. I asked her what did she mean by that. She stated that if he couldn't have her no one could have her. [That] is what he told her."

Julicia Taylor, a basketball teammate of Talley's, told the court that Talley and Barfield had dated off an on for more than a year. Just hours before Talley's death, Taylor said Talley told her she'd had enough.

"She just told me that they had broken up and that she was serious this time about it," Taylor testified.

On cross examination, Taylor admitted not mentioning a break up during her initial interview with officers.

Also testifying was Tiffany Talley's aunt Felicia Shaw who said her niece called the morning of her death to say she was headed to Barfield's house to return one of his belongings and prove to him it was really over. As far as what that item was, Shaw could not say because Talley did not tell her and she didn't ask.

Felicia Shaw said "You don't ask teenagers too much if you want them to be open and honest with you. They'll come and talk to you if you don't pry. You let them talk to you."

Deputies said Barfield told them he threw the gun used to shoot Talley into a nearby field but after an extensive search using metal detectors the gun was never found. Prosecutors say Talley was shot once to the face with a 22 caliber gun.

Testimony continues on Wednesday.

by Danielle Thomas 

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