Jury finds Shepherd man not guilty of manslaughter
San Jacinto News- Times - June 2008
COLDSPRING – A Shepherd man, indicted for manslaughter, was found not guilty by a jury of his peers last week in the 411th Judicial District Court, San Jacinto County. Monty Jimmerson, 29, was indicted last year by a San Jacinto County Grand Jury for the May 2007 death of his high school friend Justin Interisano, 27. The four men and eight women serving on the 12-member jury took just over seven hours to come back with a verdict of “not guilty.”
Jimmerson’s attorney, Charles Medlin, Houston, argued self defense for his client, saying that Jimmerson Jury fi nds Shepherd man not guilty of manslaughter was justifi ed in defending himself with deadly force. Lead Prosecutor Jonathan Petix, San Jacinto County Criminal District Attorney’s office, said testimony during the trial showed that Interisano, his common law wife, Paula Herren, and a friend, Brady Bellard, went to Jimmerson’s house looking for him on the night of the incident. According to testimony, Interisano was mad that Jimmerson had slept with his common law wife and mother of his son, while the pair was separated eight months prior to the 2007 fatal stabbing that took place at Pine Hollow Apartments, Shepherd.
“They found Jimmerson dumping trash at the apartments and that’s when the fi ght started,” Petix said. “We’re not sure who threw the first punch. Jimmerson pulled a pocket knife, with a three-inch blade, and stabbed Interisano just above the heart. There were also several lacerations on his body.” There were no weapons found on Interisano, according to testimony. Paula Herren and Brady Bellard put Interisano in their vehicle and drove him to Cleveland Memorial Hospital. However, Interisano was dead on arrival at the hospital. Jimmerson stayed at the scene until offi cers arrived.
Royce Foxworth was among those called to testify on Jimmerson’s behalf by attorney Charles Medlin. Royce Foxworth testifi ed that he trained Interisano as a cage fi ghter and that Interisano was looking for Jimmerson to beat him up. Royce Foxworth’s mother, Cynthia Foxworth, was also called as a witness for the defense. Cynthia Foxworth testifi ed that she was a good friend with Interisano, and that Interisano looked at her as a mother fi gure. Jimmerson did not take the witness stand during the trial that started Tuesday, June 2 and went to jury Thursday, June 5.
Following the jury’s decision Friday, Petix said, “The law states that you are not justifi ed in using deadly force unless you are in fear for your life or serious bodily injury. Jimmerson never said he feared for his life. I gave the jury everything we had. It was the jury’s decision that Jimmerson was justifi ed in using self-defense, and we respect the decision of the jury.”