Jury hears opening statements in bar fight murder trial

by: Mark Becker Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The opening statements took jurors inside Ed's Tavern on the night in March 2012 when the lives of Kenan Gay and Rob Kingston tragically intersected.
Both sides showed the jury video from inside the bar moments before Kingston was hit and killed by a car on Park Road.
There were also glimpses of their confrontation after Kingston harassed Gay’s girlfriend -- who is now his wife and with him at the trial.

SLIDESHOW: Scene of man killed at Ed's Tavern
 Prosecutor Anna Greene told the jury Gay threw Kingston into the street, where he was hit by that car.
She said Kingston was harmless, and you can't kill someone for having bad manners.
Gay's defense team has said from the beginning Kingston's death was an accident, and attorney Sonia Pfeiffer told the jury in her opening statement that Gay was simply trying to protect his girlfriend from the advances of a man who was extremely drunk – with a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit.

She said when Gay saw Kingston try to kiss her, he pushed Kingston out the front door but then Kingston stumbled in front of that car on his own.
It was fast, it was shocking, it was traumatic and it was an accident, she said.

Late Thursday afternoon, the owner of Ed’s Tavern testified that he saw Gay grab Kingston by the collar and by the waist, run and throw him into the street. He demonstrated to the jury how it went down.

He said it looked like Gay did it with all his strength.

The bar owner is expected to resume his testimony Friday.

Follow Mark Becker on Twitter for the latest updates from the trial. He'll be using #KenanGayTrial.

Read past coverage:

May 27, 2014: Trial to start for former football player accused of murder after bar fight

May 2, 2013:  Man charged in death outside Ed's Tavern pleads not guilty

March 20, 2012:  Dramatic 911 calls from deadly Dilworth bar fight released

March 15, 2012: Defense says man’s death outside Dilworth bar was accident, not murder

March 5, 2012:  Bar owner describes fight that left one man dead to judge

March 4, 2012:  Former UNC football player charged with murder after deadly bar fight