Accused Murderer Takes The Stand In His Defense

GULFPORT (WLOX)-- Testimony is over and soon a jury must decide whether 19-year-old Jonathan Barfield is guilty of murdering his teenage girlfriend. Barfield is charged with killing Gulfport High student Tiffany Talley at his Harrison County home back in December of 2006. The state rested its case on Wednesday. The defense called only one witness, Jonathan Barfield.

Former Harrison County sheriff's investigator Ed Tomey testified that he'd asked Jonathan Barfield how Barfield could be on the phone with Tiffany Talley and not know that at the same time she was knocking at his FEmA trailer door.

"He said that she had a jealous nature and that she would often do things of that nature to check on him to see if he was cheating on her," said Ed Tomey, the lead investigator.

Tomey said phone records show Talley called Barfield six times on Dec 27, 2006. The first call at 11:07 am and the last call at 12:23 p.m. Records also shows at 12:26 p.m.  Jonathan Barfield called his father. Two minutes dialed Barfield dialed 911. The jury got to hear that call with a sobbing Barfield as he tried to stop the bleeding.

On the tape the dispatcher asks "How did she get shot?"

Barfield responded "We were playing around with the gun and it went off. It shot her in the face. This is my girlfriend, please hurry she's coughing up blood."

Then Jonathan Barfield took the stand. He testified he'd been taking a shower in preparation for an out of state trip when the phone rang. It was Tiffany Talley.

Barfield said "I heard a banging at the door so I told her to hold on. I started going through the hallway. I looked at the door and I saw the door knob turning. I set the phone on the table and I grabbed my gun."

Barfield said he feared robbers and only after he opened the door did he know it was Talley. He said she bumped him as she came in.

"I'm in the middle of trying to un-cock it. Before I could say hold on just that quick. I heard a bang noise. The gun went off," he said.

On cross examination prosecutors asked why Barfield hadn't checked to see who was at  door before grabbing his gun.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Schmidt asked "You didn't yell who is it? Who's knocking?"

"No sir, I didn't," Barfield responded. "I wanted to catch the surprise on whoever it was."

Jonathan Barfield said he was so upset about the gun going off that he went out his porch that threw it as far as he could. That gun was never found by officers.

Earlier in the day forensic pathologist Dr. Paul McGary testified that during Talley's autopsy he found that a 22 caliber bullet had entered her cheek at a 45 degree angle and become lodged in her brain. He said her lungs would have filled with blood and after struggling to breathe for a few minutes she would have died.

Closing arguments are Thursday at 9 am.