Butler County Times Gazette
  • UPDATE: Kilbourne takes the stand - jury returning Thursday morning

  • Latest update on Kilbourne trial
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  • Jan Tracy Kilbourne took the stand in his own defense in the shooting of Deputy Jacob Lawrence this afternoon.
    Kilbourne is 42 and lives in Hugoton, Kan. He said he was divorced with two kids. He is presently on disability because he has to have back surgery from falling off of a house, but before that he farmed and ranched all his life.
    Defense Attorney James Watts asked why Kilbourne traveled to Atlanta with Graham Taylor.
    He said Taylor had asked for a ride.
    Kilbourne said they left from Hutchinson and arrived in Atlanta at about midnight, then picked up Tasha Kane and headed back.
    "As you're driving back did something begin to go wrong with the vehicle?" Watts asked.
    Kilbourne said the alternator was going bad and causing dim lights. Stayed around the town where the Walmart was for a couple of hours.
    Watts asked about when they were going west on Highway 54, and Kilbourne said he remembered passing a law enforcement vehicle.
    "I figured I would get pulled over because of my lights so I pulled off to the left," Kilbourne said.
    Watts asked about where he was parked at and why he parked there and Kilbourne said it was the only parking lot to pull into.
    Next, Kilbourne said he popped the hood, got out and the sheriff pulled up.
    "I just told him I was having car trouble and hoping we weren't going to get our names ran because I probably had a warrant," Kilbourne said, saying he "pretty much" knew that.
    Watts asked about when the officer approached and the first conversation.
    "I can't remember if he asked for the ID or if we started in on the problem," Kilbourne said.
    Ultimately he asked for Kilbourne's ID and he said something about his license being expired.
    "He let us switch out for Graham to drive because he had a valid one," Kilbourne said.
    "After we swap out Graham took off," Kilbourne continued. "I took it as go ahead and go too."
    He said he was relieved at this point.
    Then either Taylor or Kane said the officer was waving them down.
    Kilbourne continued, saying Graham then opened the door to talk to the officer.
    "He said I had a warrant but I told Graham I was leaving," Kilbourne said.
    "When you learned that warrant was outstanding what was your intent at that point?" Watts asked.
    "Just to run; to get away," Kilbourne answered.
    Watts then asked about the firearm and Kilbourne said it was in his bag in the front floorboard.
    Page 2 of 4 - Kilbourne also admitted he knew he couldn't legally possess a firearm. He said he just bought it that day.
    When asked why he bought it, Kilbourne said to get rid of it or to sell it and make some money off of it.
    "At some point, you pulled that gun out of the bag?" Watts asked.
    Kilbourne said yes.
    When asked why he removed it, he said he was either going to take off running or just spook him away.
    "The door was open and I just reached across Graham and I was just going to pop it up in the air and i had put it in gear and was going to tell Graham to go," Kilbourne said. "I heard the officer say what the F man and realized he was right there."
    He wanted to scare the officer to get a running chance.
    "When did you realize you struck the officer with that round?"
    "Actually I didn't know I had until I heard it on the news," Kilbourne said.
    He said he didn't know the deputy was leaning over the vehicle when he fired that round. He testified he thought the deputy was back closer to his car.
    Watts then asked how many rounds he fired and Kilbourne said one.
    "I was reaching across Graham and grabbed the door and shut it and put it in gear," Kilbourne said.
    He said then a shot shattered the window. He also said he got out on the passenger side by opening the door.
    Kilbourne estimated this all took 2 1/2 to 3 seconds.
    Watts then asked about him "squaring off" with the deputy.
    Kilbourne said he did not do that. He said he was hit while in the car in the car with the second shot. He said the first one shattered the window and the second one got him, then he started moving pretty fast.
    He said when he got out of the vehicle he went straight toward the building.
    "Did you ever have any intent to kill any person? Did you ever have any intent to kill the officer?" Watts asked.
    Kilbourne answered no to both questions.
    He went on to say if he had realized his round was going to strike the officer he would not have fired it.
    County Attorney Darrin Devinney then cross examined Kilbourne.
    He clarified that Kilbourne shot his gun to scare of the deputy to get a running start.
    "Do you believe shooting a firearm around law enforcement officers results in them being scared and running off?" Devinney asked. "If you shot a gun in this courtroom right now do you think all the cops would run out of this courtroom? Did you think something different on Sept. 2.?"
    Page 3 of 4 - Kilbourne said if he said he had a bomb on his leg everyone would probably run.
    Devinney also asked about the fact the only time Lawrence shot at him was when he was still in the car.
    "There are bullet holes rather low on the side of this car?" he asked.
    "I just heard about the ones in the windshield, the seat, the door handle and the outside," Kilbourne said.
    "Your testimony was Deputy Lawrence after he was shot how far away was he?" Devinney asked.
    Kilbourne said he saw flashes that appeared to be five feet away.
    "Is it your testimony today Mr. Kilbourne, that Deputy Lawrence unloaded what would have been from testimony today unloaded nine rounds into the side of that car when all of you were inside?" Devinney asked.
    Kilbourne said he only heard four.
    "Do you know why Mr. Taylor would have said you climbed over him and out the driver's side window?"
    "No, the only thing I can think is the glass blowed into his shirt when the glass came in through the window," Kilbourne said.
    He agreed he probably said he didn't want to go back to jail.
    Kilbourne said when he got out of the car he just looked to see where the deputy was and took off.
    Devinney went on to ask about his testimony that he said he was planning on leaving and asked what exactly he said.
    "I'm going to run one way or the other," Kilbourne said.
    "Before you run, the one thing you want to do is fish your gun out of it (the bag) and fire a warning shot, is that your testimony?" Devinney asked, and Kilbourne said yes.
    Devinney also had a few questions about the gun.
    He asked if that was a gun he thought he could turn around and make a profit selling.
    Kilbourne said he thought he could make about $100 and he had paid $60 or $70. He also said before buying it he had shot two rounds in it to test it.
    "I don't know where that third one went, if someone else test fired it," Kilbourne said, saying he was not sure if someone else had test fired it.
    Devinney reviewed that Kilbourne bought the gun on Sept. 1, then was hanging out with Taylor when he needed to go pick up his girlfriend.
    "You say sure I will drive you even though I don't have a valid license and probably have warrants?" Devinney asked.
    Kilbourne said yes.
    Page 4 of 4 - Kilbourne also testified he worked on the car a while in the Walmart parking lot so they could get back to Hutchinson that morning.
    "But everything changed when you saw a cop driving your direction, is that correct?" Devinney asked. "And as a means to avoid being stopped by a law enforcment you pulled into the parking lot and pulled around the west side of the BMW to be shielded from the deputy and went lights out?"
    Kilbourne said yes.
    "You didn't choose to run from him at that point and you didn't choose to shoot at him?" Devinney asked. "In fact you talked to him? You told him my name is Jan Tracy Kilbourne and can you give me a break?"
    Yes, Kilbourne answered.
    Devinney said then the deputy went to check warrants.
    "I was fixing to go to jail," Kilbourne said. "I was going to run either way."
    "You wanted to avoid going to jail, didn't you. So you shot the gun?" Devinney asked.
    "Yes," Kilbourne said.
    "You would have this jury believe the deputy was that close when he was leaning in the open driver's side door to let you know that warrant was not valid," Devinney asked. "He wasn't there," Kilbourne said.
    "How did you shoot him in the vest then?" Devinney asked.
    "He was farther back," Kilbourne responded.
    Devinney then asked if Kilbourne would have them believe the deputy threw his flashlight forward.
    "You got a picture of that and I will show you where he was standing," Kilbourne said.
    Devinney said that would be for Kilbourne's attorney to do.
    Watts then followed up with a few questions about the locations of the vehicles and where the deputy was standing.
    Kilbourne said again he didn't have any realization the deputy was right there by the door.
    Following Kilbourne's testimony both parties rested, with the jury to return in the morning.
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