Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

January 26, 2014

Sample murder trial continues into this week

The trial of Dallas resident James Anthony Sample will likely continue through Monday or Tuesday. Defense attorneys were still presenting their case against Sample as of 11 a.m. Friday morning and anticipated playing a video interview between Sample and a Cleburne police officer, which lasts about three hours.

Sample’s attorney, Rob Ward, said he did not know if Sample will take the stand.

Sample, 32, is on trial in the 249th District court facing a murder charge in connection with the Dec. 27, 2012, shooting death of Mesquite resident Brian Poole.

Sample allegedly shot Poole twice in the forehead sometime between 1:30 and 2 a.m. in a downtown Cleburne building owned by Cleburne residents Gloria and Blain Dudley.

Cleburne police discovered Poole’s body wrapped in a sleeping bag at the scene later the same morning and arrested Sample, who was also still at the scene.

Paul Slocum, a firearms examiner for Integrated Forensic Laboratories, testified on Friday that a bullet fragment retrieved from the scene and a bullet later removed from Poole’s body matched the gun located under a chair cushion at the scene.

Slocum told Ward, however, that while he could match the bullets to the gun, he could not determine who shot the gun.

Ward on Thursday unsuccessfully moved to introduce evidence of Poole’s alleged drug use. A medical examiner testified that postmortem blood tests registered amphetamine and methamphetamine in Poole’s system.

The doctor told Ward that pinpointing the exact time Poole ingested the drugs is impossible but said it’s a safe assumption that he probably did so roughly an hour before his death.

Three eyewitnesses to the shooting testified that they did no drugs that day and that, as far as they can recall, saw none of the others present consume drugs.

Ward argued that evidence of Poole’s alleged drug use that day should be admitted into evidence to challenge the credibility of the three witnesses.

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