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UPDATE: Tracey says he was rushed in his own home

Defendant takes stand for second day in row in murder trial

Posted: November 1, 2012 3:04 p.m.
Updated: November 1, 2012 6:47 p.m.

SAN FERNANDO — With his chin quivering and his voice wavering, Lennie Tracey told jurors Thursday how he grabbed his pump-action shotgun and killed what he thought was a prowler — who turned out to be his neighbor.

Taking the witness stand in his own defense for the second day, the 52-year-old former Nascar diver picked up where he finished off Wednesday, explaining to the San Fernando Superior Court jury the minutes preceding the fatal shooting of Anthony Davis in the early hours of Sept. 24, 2011.

Tracey closed Wednesday’s line of questioning — during which he talked about seeing strange lights and hearing worrying and fearful noises outside his house — by saying he was confronted by “an intruder” when he opened his front door.

“Nobody pushes through your door at three in the morning without wanting to hurt you,” Tracey said Thursday, sounding near tears.

He said he was forced back into his own home on Calypso Lane by the intruder — to where his shotgun lay on a couch.

“I was pushed back to where the shotgun was,” he said. “I grabbed the weapon instinctively and brought it up.”
Tracey said he warned “the intruder” twice.

“I said, ‘Get on the ground. I’m armed’ — twice,” he said. “I couldn’t tell if it was one person or two.”

“I fired the weapon in the direction I thought the intruder was coming from.”

Defense lawyer Loren Mandel asked Tracey about the second shot he fired from his shotgun.

“It appeared to me that, whoever they were, they were reaching for something,” Tracey said. “I couldn’t see. It was pitch black except for the light from the TV in the house. ... I thought whoever it was was going to shoot, and I didn’t want to be shot.”

He said it wasn’t until he turned on outside lights that he realize he had shot and killed his neighbor, Anthony Davis.

Deputy District Attorney Richard Gallegly, on his first chance to cross-examine the accused killer, wasted no time directing Tracey’s attention to the on-going seven-year feud he had with Davis, his next-door neighbor.

Gallegly told the jury at the outset of the two-week murder trial he intends to prove Tracey intentionally killed his neighbor and acted as “judge, jury and executioner” on Sept. 24, 2011.

In cross-examining him about the noises Tracey said he heard that early morning, Gallegly said: “You must have thought it must be Anthony Davis?

Tracey answered: “No, sir.”

“The only neighbor you have north of you is Anthony Davis,” Gallegly said. “Davis had done things to make noises, annoy you before, right?” Tracey said: “No, not that I know of, maybe dogs barking.”

“You heard noises from the Davis property at 2:30 in the morning previously, right?” the prosecutor asked him.

“Nothing like that, sir,” said Tracey.

Gallegly asked him about a run-in with Davis in April 2011 in which Davis reportedly turned his garden hose on, shooting water into the Tracey yard.

“Didn’t you hear Anthony Davis making a statement in that incident? Did the incident make noise?”

Tracey said the sound was of water being sprayed and rocks being thrown.

“You heard him say something on Sept. 24, right?” Gallegly asked. “You heard noises, you saw the lights through the frosted glass of the door, you must have thought it must be Tony Davis.”

Tracey answered: “No sir.”

Davis' body was found on the sidewalk in front of the Tracey house, two shotgun wounds in the body  one in the front, and one in the back.






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