During opening statements in the murder trial of Bethea, the prosecutor told the jury that the accused intentionally shot the husband of his girlfriend, Terrance Durel Sr., a former Brewer resident.
Nine people, including Durel’s mother and brother, were in the courtroom.
"He went back outside in the driveway with his gun. The confrontation continued and Antoinne Bethea pulled out that gun and shot Terrance Durel twice,” said Donald Macomber, one of two assistant attorney generals prosecuting the case.
He added later, “What is the connection between Antoinne Bethea and Terrance Durel? A woman. A woman named Danielle Lane.”
The defense team says Durel sent threatening text messages to Bethea's girlfriend, Danielle Durel, who is now named Danielle Lane, and that Bethea stopped by her father's house to pick up a handgun for protection just before they arrived back home.
An angry Durel and his best friend, Steven "Primo" Lancaster, confronted Bethea after the couple got home and a scuffle and wrestling match ensued. The gun was in Bethea's back pocket, his defense attorney said.
“He feels someone going for his back pocket, and that's where he has that 9 mm gun,” said Hunter Tzovarras, attorney for Bethea. “And Antoinne realizes he's trying to grab the gun from his pocket and his focus at this point is keeping Primo from getting that handgun. They're fighting and they're struggling on the ground over this handgun. Eventually, the handgun comes out of his pocket and Primo and Antoinne both have their hands on it. They're both trying to control this gun and 'pow' the gun goes off. It happens quickly.
“Antoinne is focused on the gun. He doesn't even know where Terrance is,” he said.
While the wrestling continued a second shot goes off, but the fighting doesn't stop until Danielle screams her husband's name.
Durel, who was shot in the side of the stomach and shin, later died from his injuries.
After opening statements, the jury of 11 men and four women, was taken to the scene of the shooting, located at the corner of Ohio Street and Highland Avenue.
Lancaster was the second person to testify. He was given immunity by the state, and admitted in court that he and Durel were in Maine selling drugs. He testified that he "tackled" Bethea, who had his friend pinned down on a car in the driveway, and all three fell to the ground. Lancaster admitted he was trying to grab the gun but testified that he never got his hands on the weapon.
While the three were on the ground wrestling for the handgun, Lancaster said, "I heard my friend say, 'I'm hit.'"
The trial is expected to last at least a week. The medical examiner is scheduled to testify on Tuesday.