A Hall County man inflamed with jealousy shot a man who spent the night with his estranged wife, a prosecutor told a jury Wednesday.
The defendant’s lawyer said the man who was wounded that day shot himself multiple times in the leg in a struggle over his own gun.
“This is a messy case; it’s a sad case; it’s a disturbing case,” said Dan Summer, the attorney representing 46-year-old Weyman Wheeler in his trial on charges of aggravated battery and criminal trespass. “But at the end of the day, Nick Causey shot himself in the struggle.”
Causey, 31, was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital on the morning of May 2 for treatment of his gunshot wounds. He has since recovered and testified against Wheeler on Wednesday.
According to Hall County Assistant District Attorney Juliet Aldridge, on the morning of the shooting, Causey was in a bedroom at a South Hall home where Wheeler’s wife was staying with a sister while separated from Wheeler.
Wheeler learned from his former brother-in-law that Causey was staying overnight with his wife, “and that’s when the wheels started to turn,” Aldridge said.
The prosecutor said Wheeler hatched a plan to confront Causey, which ended with the two men grappling over Causey’s handgun in the bedroom.
Several shots were fired from the gun during the struggle. Wheeler is accused of elbowing Causey to the ground, then firing a shot into his leg that shattered his shin bone.
Wheeler’s attorney disputed that version of events. During his cross-examination of Causey on Wednesday, Summer questioned whether he could say for certain that Wheeler shot him as he was on his back on the floor.
Causey testified that during the struggle “at times (Wheeler’s) finger was on (the trigger) and at times my finger was on it.”
Causey said he was dazed after hitting the floor.
“Perhaps it was the other gunshot wound you were feeling?” Summer said.
“No, sir,” Causey replied.
Causey later testified that “as soon as that bullet hit my leg, I was in excruciating pain.”
Aldridge told jurors during her opening statement that once they heard all the testimony, they would have enough evidence to find “what the defendant did that day was not justified, and it was not an accident.”
Summer said his client did not act maliciously, a required element of aggravated battery.
“When you go back and try to fit this charge to the law, it won’t fit,” Summer told the jury.
Testimony in the case continues today.