Defendant found guilty of second-degree murder in trial at Fairfield
By ANDY HALLMAN
Golden Triangle News Service
FAIRFIELD — Tyler James Webster, 33, was found guilty of murder in the second-degree by a jury of his peers Tuesday night in the Jefferson County Courthouse.
The jury returned its verdict shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday after deliberating for about five hours. Webster was found guilty of shooting Buddy Lee Frisbie, 32, on Aug. 25, 2012 while Frisbie was in a camper at 2469 Marigold Blvd. about three miles south of Fairfield.
Webster faces a 50-year sentence in prison. He would have to serve at least 70 percent of his sentence, 35 years, before he is eligible for parole. His sentencing date is 1:30 p.m. May 28 in the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Jefferson County Attorney Tim Dille, who helped prosecute the case, said the court must order restitution of at least $150,000.
The state was seeking a conviction for first-degree murder. To obtain a first-degree murder conviction, the state must prove the defendant acted willfully, deliberately and with premeditation to kill another person. Although the state did not obtain the verdict it sought, Dille said he was still satisfied the jury convicted Webster of second-degree murder.
“We are pleased with the verdict,” he said. “We’re glad justice was done.”
The defense did not dispute Webster intentionally shot Frisbie. Webster testified under oath that he intentionally shot Frisbie. The defense argued Webster was justified in his actions because he was attempting to save a woman, Shelby Hall, from being raped by Frisbie.
Hall was called to testify by the prosecution. She recounted an incident Aug. 25 in which she, Webster and Frisbie were together in the camper on Marigold Boulevard. Hall had been dating Frisbie since early July and the two had moved in together within a few weeks of meeting.
While the three were together in the camper, Hall said Frisbie invited Webster to engage in group sex. She said Frisbie turned her wrist and she said “ouch,” adding “it sort of hurt but didn’t hurt.” She said Webster left the camper, and she and Frisbie began kissing. Hall was draped over Frisbie when Webster returned to the camper and shot Frisbie twice in the head.
Webster testified he believed Hall was being raped. He said Frisbie had suggested on two earlier occasions he and Webster could gangrape Hall.
Webster said he always changed the subject when Frisbie brought up the idea of raping Hall, but never told Frisbie he didn’t want to go through with it.
Carissa Godwin, Frisbie’s former wife, testified in court Frisbie abused her and raped her twice.
Webster’s version of the events in the camper before the shooting were different from Hall’s. Webster said Frisbie grabbed Hall’s wrist and twisted it behind her back. He said Frisbie was talking to Hall in a condescending tone. He said Frisbie was trying to get Hall to perform oral sex on him but she said no. He testified Frisbie forced Hall’s arm farther up her back and then asked her in a sarcastic tone if that hurt.
Webster said Frisbie told Hall to kiss him, which she did. That’s when he left the camper. He said he went to his pickup truck, opened the glovebox, retrieved his handgun, returned to the camper and fired two rounds at Frisbie.
Webster said he killed Frisbie to protect Hall and also to eliminate the threat Frisbie posed to him. Defense attorney Michael Adams asked Webster why he believed Frisbie was a threat to him.
Webster answered, “Once I crossed the line, I knew he would not hesitate to use deadly force against me.”
Webster said he had reason to believe Frisbie might have a pistol on him or somewhere in the camper. A few weeks before the shooting, Webster said he had to return two guns to George Tadlock, but found only one of them. He said he learned later that Frisbie kept one of them.
On cross-examination, Webster said nobody in the camper that day mentioned having group sex, which was different from what Hall testified to.
Assistant Attorney General Denise Timmins asked Webster when he decided to kill Frisbie. He said it was after Hall kissed him.
“That’s when I decided I didn’t want to be there anymore,” he said.
Timmins asked Webster why he did not tell Frisbie to stop if he believed Frisbie was raping Hall. He said it was because he was afraid of Frisbie.
Timmins asked Webster if Hall was screaming when Webster entered the camper armed with his handgun. Webster said she was not. Timmins asked him if Hall was saying no. Webster said he didn’t know what Hall was saying.
“Is it possible you misunderstood the situation?” Timmins asked Webster.
“No,” he replied.
Timmins said Webster told Sgt. Jeff Uhlmeyer when he was interviewed the day of the incident he might have misunderstood the situation. Timmins asked Webster if he was saying something different in court. Webster said he was.
Webster said during direct examination he had no memory of being interviewed by Uhlmeyer.
On re-direct examination, Adams asked Webster why he didn’t shoot Frisbie in the arm or the leg. Webster said Frisbie could have still been a threat to him.
“I wasn’t going to wait for him to shoot at me, so then I could shoot back,” he said. “It wasn’t like I was sitting around thinking about this stuff. It was hitting me all at once.”