IDAHO FALLS — Prosecutors called a bevy of witnesses during the fourth day of the Marshal Dee Hendricks trial.
Much of the testimony focused on conflicting opinions as to whether or not Rory Neddo had a reputation as a violent person. Neddo was shot and killed by Hendricks on Labor Day 2019. The crux of the trial is whether or not Hendricks acted in self-defense.
The confrontation between the two men centered around an affair between Hendricks and his now-wife Jessica Hendricks. Neddo had been in a relationship with Jessica and they shared a child together.
Throughout the trial the prosecution has aimed to prove Neddo was not a violent person, giving Hendricks no right to claim self-defense. The defense argues Hendricks had a legal right to self-defense because of Neddo’s alleged reputation of violence and anger, and the fact that he was allegedly in possession of deadly weapons.
Thursday’s witnesses included: Whitley Taylor, a resident of the home where the shooting occurred, Victoria Neddo, the oldest daughter of Rory Neddo, Detective Alena Medrano from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s office and lead detective on the case, and most notably, Jason Wessells, the older brother of Rory Neddo, who gave an emotional and intense testimony as he reiterated the events of the day when his brother was killed.
The 911 call that Wessells made after the shooting was played in court Thursday, causing him to become emotional and request a short break from the court.
Wessells testified that he drove Neddo to the house on Labor Day 2019, not knowing why Neddo needed to talk to Hendricks. Wessells told the jury that Neddo was not known as a violent person and that he had “a huge heart.”
“He was a different duck, he had a heart for the less fortunate,” Wessells said. “He’d always bring strange friends home, and it was like, what are you doing with these people? He was very compassionate, forgiving and respectful.”
Wessells told the jury that when they arrived at the house, Neddo jumped out and ran up the driveway.
“[Hendricks] pulled the gun on him from the second he got there,” said Wessells. According to the testimony, Neddo then told Hendricks, “Put the gun down, let’s talk about this.” When Hendricks did not put the gun down, Neddo responded, “You better get that f****** gun out of my face, or you better use it.”
Hendricks then pulled the trigger and Neddo fell to the ground. According to Wessells, he jumped out of the car and ran over to his brother, before “charging” at Hendricks yelling, “what the f*** did you do? what the f*** did you do?”
In his testimony, Wessells stated it was at this point that Hendricks put the barrel of the gun to Wessells’ head and threatened him.
“I was just hoping that my mom wouldn’t be burying two kids in one day,” said Wessells in court. “I was scared.”
Whitley Taylor, a resident of the home where the murder occurred, also gave testimony.
She said Neddo was not a violent person. During her testimony, she stated, “Whichever drugs he was on, he was not violent. I could tell when he was on drugs, and when he was not on drugs.”
This conflicts with testimony given Wednesday from Jessica Hendricks when she testified that Neddo was very violent both on and off drugs. Earlier in the trial jurors learned Neddo was high on methamphetamine at the time of the fight.
“One of the things (Neddo) always told me was, “You’re either with me or you’re against me,” Jessica Hendricks said in court Wednesday.
Victoria Neddo, Rory Neddo’s oldest daughter, also testified Thursday. She told the jury that she saw Marshal Hendricks loading a gun in the driveway before the kids were driven away by Taylor to keep them from seeing the impending fight.
She also testified that Marshal had a gun with him while camping that weekend and that he usually had one on him during other camping trips.
Hendricks is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Hendricks is expected to testify tomorrow, Friday, June 10th, when the jury will reconvene at 8:30 a.m.