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Staunton murder trial continues, jury views evidence

Mead’s attorney, William Little, and Staunton Commonwealth Attorney, Jeff Gaines, had a...
Mead’s attorney, William Little, and Staunton Commonwealth Attorney, Jeff Gaines, had a disagreement Tuesday.(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 5:15 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Almost 30 pieces of evidence have been entered and about ten witnesses have given testimonies, but Daniel Mead’s trial isn’t over.

Mead is on trial for first-degree murder for the stabbing of Bradley Alexander Maurice. On June 24, 2020, the two men got into an argument that turned deadly when Mead allegedly used a butterfly knife to kill Maurice.

The jury got to see the knife in person today when Sgt. Butch Shifflett with the Staunton Police Department brought it to be entered into evidence. Among other things, the jury also saw the shirt Maurice was wearing at the time of his death.

The medical examiner who performed Maurice’s autopsy also gave her testimony today. Dr. Gale Suzuki spoke, explaining the autopsy process and what her study showed.

Mead’s attorney, William Little, and Staunton Commonwealth Attorney, Jeff Gaines, had a disagreement Tuesday, with Gaines calling Little’s line of questioning “gratuitous.” Little questioned a witness about her statement to police officers when she said she thought Maurice might have been on drugs.

Gaines said the question was inappropriate since the toxicology report showed only alcohol in his system. That fact was confirmed by Suzuki on the stand.

Not long after Suzuki gave her testimony, Little made a motion to the court. He asked to strike the current charge of first-degree murder. He said first-degree murder requires the commonwealth to prove it was willful, deliberate, and premeditated, and he said the commonwealth hadn’t proven that.

Little said Mead used the knife to defend himself, not to intentionally kill Maurice.

However, Gaines and Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Perry said the charge should stand. According to witness testimony, the two men were engaged in an argument in and outside of Mead’s apartment, and Mead chose to grab the knife and bring it outside.

Gaines and Perry said the decision to bring the knife to a fight with an unarmed man constitutes first degree murder.

Little said he would bring witnesses for the defense in tomorrow’s proceedings. The trial is expected to run for four days.

This is a developing story. Stay with WHSV for the latest.

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