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Wife of alleged murderer takes the stand

Posted: October 31, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 31, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

SAN FERNANDO — The wife of a man accused of murder described for jurors “the most terrifying night of her life” — the night her husband allegedly shot and killed their neighbor.

Sandra Tracey took the witness stand in San Fernando Superior Court on Tuesday, closing the case for the defense and capping the presentation of all evidence in her husband’s two-week murder trial.

Lennie Paul Tracey, 52, sat calmly listening to his wife describe the events of Sept. 24, 2011, that led to his arrest for allegedly shooting and killing his Canyon Country neighbor Anthony Davis.

“I was terrified,” Sandra Tracey told the jury. “I had never been through such an incident in my life.”

In the minutes before 3 a.m. on Sept. 24, 2011, she heard a pounding at her front door and was frightened, she said.

She described it as the sound of a car wheel being thrown at the door.

“It sounded louder than (a person) pounding at our door,” she said.

It’s at that point her husband told her to summon help.

“He said, ‘Call the police.’ He thought we had a prowler outside,” she said.

Defense lawyer Loren Mandel asked her: “Did he say ‘prowler?’”

Tracey said yes.

Mandel repeatedly made the distinction between “prowler” and “neighbor” because, as he explained early in the trial, the distinction means the difference between first-degree murder and second-degree murder.

According to Mandel, Tracey was only protecting his family and property when he opened the front door and shot “a prowler” twice with a pump-action shotgun that night.

Tracey told the jurors that she and her husband didn’t know who was shot until they looked through a window and saw the body of their neighbor.

“We had no idea it was him,” she said. “I didn’t know it was him until I looked out of the window.”

Tracey also told the court that in seven years of problems with the Davis family, Anthony Davis had never come to their door.

Closing arguments are expected to be heard in the case Wednesday.

Tuesday’s testimony was delayed when Superior Court Judge David B. Gelfound announced after an extended lunch break that a second juror was being replaced.

It was the second time a juror was replaced in the trial.

A juror was “excused” Friday in part for having violated the judge’s instructions reminding jurors not to read any media reports about the trial.

jholt@the-signal.com

661-287-5525

 

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