MASON CITY, Iowa - Sixty-one-year-old Larry Whaley is charged with second-degree murder in the December 2016 death of Samantha Teeter.
Prosecutors say Whaley shot Teeter in the head through his apartment door.
“I was reaching to grab her to give her a hug and I couldn't figure out why she was falling to the ground, why she was turning away from me until I looked at the door and saw the hole in the door and saw this side of her face was gone,” Kalab Van Scyoc described.
Van Scyoc is describing the moment Whaley shot through his own apartment door shooting his then girlfriend Teeter in the face.
“When you made the call to 9-1-1 then at that time you had the phone and Sammy was lying right there by you?” Asked the prosecutors.
“Yes,” Van Scyoc said.
“Was Sammy still conscious?” prosecutors asked.
“She was trying to breathe but couldn't,” Van Scyoc said.
Van Scyoc describes hanging out with Whaley earlier in the night.
Whaley told him and Teeter he had a gun; they even went with him to buy shells earlier that day. Van Scyoc then testified he and Teeter left Whaley, but decided to go back to Whaley’s apartment around 4 a.m.
“She took the key out of her pocket she tried to knock first I think then she took the key out of the pocket, slid it in the door, and then it opened about two inches,” Van Scyoc said.
Whaley gave Teeter a key earlier in the day. Van Scyoc will tell you he shined a light into Whaley’s apartment, buzzed his apartment and several others before being let in by someone inside and then whistled to let Whaley know they were coming in but Whaley’s attorney say Whaley didn't hear all that and thought someone was trying to break in.
Prosecutors are stressing either way, Whaley had clear intentions.
“He shot through his closed apartment door at another person, he used a gun because he meant business,” Cerro Gordo County Attorney Carlyle Dalen said to the jury.
Other facts we learned during the trial include, attorneys saying Whaley was paranoid about his ex-roommate who he kicked out just days before saying he thought he had a gun and may come back to the apartment. He was also paranoid about his friend's ex-boyfriend coming to his apartment to talk to her.
After shooting once through the door, Whaley shot two more times.
Lastly after Mason City Police were told it was Whaley who shot Teeter, they called Whaley, he answered and willingly left with them.
In letters he sent to a judge, Whaley claimed he fired into the door because he believed two people he knew were breaking into his apartment.
Whaley said Teeter was not one of those two people and her death was an accident.