MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Opening statements were made on Wednesday in the Sean Bolton murder case. Tremaine Wilbourn is facing first-degree murder charges after being accused of killing the Memphis police officer in August 2015.
The prosecution painted a brief but chilling account of what that night. They played audio clippings from dispatch of Officer Bolton trying to send a message for help, followed by short clips from those who made the scene.
Prosecutors said Bolton never pulled his weapon from the holster, and said they had an eye witness account stating Wilbourn shoved the officer before shooting at him 11 times.
Those shots were aimed to avoid the officer's safety vest, prosecutors said.
After fleeing the scene, Wilbourn then ran a short distance away and carjacked an individual at gunpoint. That individual told police "somebody came up, put a gun to my head and said 'give me your car. I just shot the police."
But the defense tried to paint a very different picture of Wilbourn. They claimed Wilbourn was scared the night he encountered Officer Bolton. They claimed he didn't know what was going to happen and panicked.
Attorney Juni Ganguli said bottom line was that Wilbourn didn't intend to kill the officer that night.
Earlier in the day, the jury heard from the driver of the car that Wilbourn was in. He told the courtroom that they were parked in Parkway Village because he was weighing marijuana.
When Bolton showed up the driver grabbed everything that he could and ran before shots rang out.
A witness also took the stand and told the courtroom Wilbourn said out loud, 'Someone record this,' out of fear that Bolton would try to kill him. Though there was a struggle, officials say Bolton never reached for his gun before he was shot.
Also during court on Wednesday, Wilbourn announced he plans on taking the stand in his own defense. The judge reminded Wilbourn he could change his mind at the any time during the proceedings should he wish to do so.
Wilbourn was already sentenced to 25 years for a carjacking and other gun-related crimes related to the night Bolton was killed.