Trial Continues: Juror Dismissed; Taunton May Testify in Self-De - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Trial Continues: Juror Dismissed; Taunton May Testify in Self-Defense

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 It's been an eventful day in the capital murder trial of Thomas Taunton. He's accused of shooting to death his step-father, mom and sister  in January of  2012

This morning a juror was dismissed for a felony charge, and replaced by an alternate, but that wasn't the only twist in the trial.

 During opening arguments last week, we learned Thomas Taunton would take the stand to testify he acted in self defense, that it was actually his step father Harold who shot Sue and Regina. Then Taunton asked not to attend the trial because he was suicidal.

Today the judge requested to Taunton appear in person. He was sworn in and said he was emotionally upset saying, "up until now i haven't been comfortable."

Taunton says he's been on suicide watch at the jail for for the past 31 months, in which he sits in a cell by himself without clothing, only a blanket.

His attorney says he is competent to stand trial. Taunton asked to return to jail and says he'll talk with his attorney tonight to decide if he will take the stand tomorrow in his own defense.

His attorneys also questioned why gun residue swabs were collected from the victims, but never tested. A DPS analyst testified it is policy not to test gunshot victims for gunshot residue because the residue can occur just from the act of being shot.

 The state rested its case earlier today, after we heard testimony that Thomas Taunton's shoes had blood from all three victims. As things stand now, Thomas Taunton is the only witness remaining before closing arguments.