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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Kevin Waggoner took the stand in his own defense Friday, on trial for shooting and killing his neighbor after a three-year feud.
The former Knox County Schools security officer was charged with second degree murder in the death of Michael Woodby.
Waggoner was emotional on the stand as he walked the jury through what he said was months of Woodby threatening their family, sometimes daily, and focusing those threats on his son, Kolton Waggoner.
“It was so obvious he wanted to kill Kolton it was frightening,” he said.
Waggoner said the threats to Kolton were constant and that’s why they started filming the Woodby’s every move. He said they were worried about what Michael Woodby might do as his threats got more and more aggressive.Waggoner said he tried to stay away from Woodby, but continued recording. He wasn’t, however, recording the night he killed his neighbor.
According to Waggoner, he and his son had gone for a walk when Woodby, who was intoxicated, came up behind them, yelling. Then, Waggoner said, he hit Kolton in the head and neck with a three and a half foot long fence post Woodby was using as a walking stick.
“I’m not exactly sure how everything went. Everything was so fast and blurry at that point,” Waggoner testified. “Somehow Michael ended up in front of me and he was coming at me with the stick and I had to protect Kolton. I wasn’t too sure where he was at and I knew he was injured because I had seen Michael hit him.”
“If Michael had gotten through me, there’s no telling what he would have done to Kolten.I just didn’t know what else to do,” he said, tearing up. “I didn’t have a choice.”
Waggoner shot Woodby four times.
Woodby’s widow recounts deadly feud
The wife of a Union County man killed in a deadly feud took the stand Friday. Theresa Woodby said she and her husband, Micahael Woodby, had a good relationship with their neighbors, but that changed when her husband asked the Waggoners to stop shooting guns while he recovered from a heart attack.
Theresa Woodby said the Waggoners cursed at him and that he apologized by bringing tomatoes. When he brought the tomatoes by their house, she said they held him up at gunpoint. Kevin Waggoner testified that never happened.
After that, Theresa Woodby said the Waggoners shot guns every single time the Woodbys stepped out their door. She says her husband started making signs that said things like, “love they neighbor”, but when the Waggoners started filming them he made a sign that said “stalking is a crime.”
As cross-examination began, Theresa Woodby started tearing up.
“Did Michael ever threaten them in response?” asked Union County District Attorney General Jared Effler.
“I’m sure,” Theresa Woodby responded.
Effler spent a lot of time questioning her about guns and asking whether the Woodbys had guns or tried to get guns from Waggoner’s gun shop behind his house. She says they never tried to get guns from the Waggoner’s shop, though that is what the defense argued started the feud.
Pressing Theresa Woodby, Effler asked whether Woodby threatened Kolton Waggoner’s life. She said she’s not sure. He asked if she would be surprised if he had threatened his life. She said no.
The medical examiner also testified, saying Woodby died from multiple gunshot wounds and his blood alcohol content level was .109.