Murder trial underway for man accused of streaming murder on Facebook

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – A trial officially kicked off Wednesday morning in Jackson County Court for a man accused of fatally shooting a woman and streaming it live on Facebook.

20-year-old Anthony Gelia is charged with open murder in the shooting death of 26-year-old Brittany Southwell.

 

Police say in November, 2016, Gelia broke into a house on Jefferson Street in Jackson and started shooting.

 

Investigators say he went there to confront his brother about a previous fight on Facebook.

 

According to police, Southwell was just an innocent bystander who was shot and killed while holding her baby boy.

 

Prosecutors say Gelia streamed the murder on Facebook Live.

 

During opening statements, the prosecution argued that Gelia came to the house, ready to kill.

 

“You will hear that the defendant planned and he deliberated and he intentionally killed.  He was angry, he was hateful, and he was looking for a reason to shoot to kill that night,” said Jackson County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Katie Hawkins.

 

 

 

 

The defense admits that Gelia killed Southwell, but it wasn’t intentional.

 

“I am going to ask you to find Mr. Gelia guilty. But I am going to ask you to find him guilty of the appropriate level of murder based upon his intent on this night,” said Andrew Fitzpatrick, Gelia’s defense attorney.

 

After opening statements there was a full day of testimony from investigators and witnesses.

 

Witnesses in the house gave testimony about how they saw Gelia break-in and run around the house shooting a handgun.

 

A 25-minute Facebook Live video that shows the murder happening will be shown to the jury later this week.  

 

The trial is set to continue the rest of the week so stay with us for updates.

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