By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – The murder trial of Weston G. Miller continues this morning in a Chehalis courtroom, with a videotape of Miller’s interview with police expected.
Miller, 30, is charged in the March 2012 shooting death of 43-year-old David Wayne Carson who had been staying at his house on B Street in Centralia.
Centralia defense attorney J.P. Enbody has told jurors there’s no doubt his client shot Carson, but contends it was because Carson came at Miller with a knife.
Only one other person was present, Carson’s 46-year-old girlfriend Sara DeSalvo who spent more than two hours on the witness stand, and was repeatedly asked by the judge to focus.
“Again, listen to the question and answer the question that’s asked,” Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey said numerous times.
DeSalvo, at times distraught and at times seemingly irritated by questioning, apologized, saying she knows she talks fast.
Yesterday, jurors heard the pathologist who conducted the autopsy describe a grazing bullet wound on Carson’s left forearm as a probable defensive wound.
Miller was charged last year with first-degree murder in the death. Prosecutors have not offered a motive, but the case got off to a slow start because of questions whether Miller was competent to stand trial.
Police called the afternoon of March 13 to Miller’s house on B Street found Carson dead inside with two bullet wounds in his chest and chased down Miller who had left in a pickup truck. Officers were told Carson and DeSalvo had been arguing and Miller told them to stop.
Jurors have heard that Carson and DeSalvo were off and on homeless after Carson lost his job. After they were kicked out of one Centralia home, DeSalvo asked Miller if they could stay a short time, in exchange for her doing some much needed major house cleaning.
DeSalvo, on Tuesday afternoon and yesterday morning told the court about the week prior and the day of the shooting.
She described Carson, the love of her life, as amiable.
“He never had any disagreements with anybody, he was very soft-spoken and quiet,” DeSalvo said.
She spoke of Miller wanting to be friends with Carson and hanging out smoking pot together.
Under questioning, it became apparent Miller grew weary of his house guest’s arguing.
On the last day, Carson and DeSalvo were in the bedroom and Miller repeatedly knocked on the door and told them to stop fighting.
Weston was being a jerk for no reason, she said.
He knocked on the door one last time, according to DeSalvo.
“He said, ‘hey man, can I talk to you for a minute’,” DeSalvo testified.
Carson kissed her, handed her his pot pipe and opened the bedroom door, she testified.
“As soon as it closed, as soon as I heard it click, I heard pop, pop, pop,” DeSalvo said.
Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher has told jurors no knife was found in Carson’s hand. Enbody has pointed out three knives found in the guest bedroom where Carson stumbled onto his back and lay dead.
Today, jurors are expected to hear testimony from neighbors who rushed in to the house to see if they could help Carson.
For background, read “B Street homicide: Defendant says self defense” from Wednesday March 14, 2012, here