ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- A long day in court as the trial for Dreion Dearing finally got underway Monday morning. He's accused of shooting and killing Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm the night of Jan. 24, 2018.
Dearing's trial was supposed to start in April, but a mistrial was declared partly due to COVID-19 and the state’s new ban on the death penalty.
It was the end of the day that brought the most details. Adams County Sheriff Deputy William Booker, who was on scene with Gumm the night he was shot, took the stand Monday.
Gumm and Booker were responding to a burglary call when they encountered Dearing, who fit the suspect description.
Booker spent hours on the stand describing the chase which went through multiple backyards and ended in the fatal shooting. Booker didn't see Gumm get shot. He didn't know he had been until he found Gumm on the ground.
Gumm's last words to the suspect, "Please don't be stupid." Those last words from Gumm were how the district attorney began opening statements.
The DA went on to lay out the case against Dearing. The DA said Gumm was already on the ground when some shots hit him.
The defense argues that Dearing was acting in self-defense. They claim Gumm shot first and that Dearing was on the ground shooting wildy as he feared for his life.
His defense will also claim bias from the detectives who arrested him later that night hiding in a treehouse.
Gumm’s sister also took the stand Monday. She did not hold back her emotion when talking about the brother she lost and what he meant to her and their family.
Booker was still on the stand when court ended Monday. He’ll be back there when court resumes Tuesday morning.