Warren County man found guilty of murder in Christmas Day shooting

A Warren County man was found guilty on Thursday of murdering a friend on Christmas Day 2016, culminating a four-to-five-day methamphetamine binge.

Zachary Wilson, 26, was charged with three counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault as well as single charges of improperly discharging a firearm and tampering with evidence.

Wilson was on trial for the shooting death of Jeremy Foxx, 24.

He was found guilty of all charges.

The jury adjourned to begin deliberations after hearing their instructions Wednesday night, but decided against beginning their work until Thursday.

They began deliberations about 8:45 a.m. and continued into the late afternoon, with two interruptions while Judge Robert Peeler answered questions and corrected the instructions on a felonious assault charge.

The trial was delayed Wednesday by the unavailability of a defense witness.

After he was located, witness Brian Raby testified first out of the jury’s view about a visit from Wilson, Foxx and Allison Moore, Foxx’s cousin who is serving a prison term for tampering with evidence in the case. He then testified briefly in front of the jury, after both sides had closed their cases and made final arguments.

Wilson’s lawyers, Bill Fowler and Jeff Stueve, moved for a mistrial after Raby appeared six hours after he was subpoenaed to testify. Peeler denied the motion.

Earlier Wednesday, the woman riding with Wilson and Foxx, of Carlisle, testified that Foxx, her cousin, pulled a gun on Wilson before the shooting started on Dec. 25, 2016 on a road along the Carlisle-Franklin Twp. line.

RELATED: Prosecution: Drugs at root of Christmas Day 2016 slaying

Moore, 20, of Franklin Twp., said Foxx pulled a 9 mm handgun and pointed it at Wilson with a look of “contempt” and intent to shoot.

Wilson was accused of firing at least nine rounds from what was described as an AK-47 pistol, into Foxx and a home along the road. They were driving to buy more drugs to continue the binge, most of which went on at a mobile home where the were living outside Lebanon.

RELATED: Defense rested in Christmas Day 2016 murder trial

In July, Moore was sentenced to three years in prison for tampering with evidence in the case.

On Wednesday, Assistant County Prosecutor Travis Vieux pressed Moore about why she didn’t tell detectives this version of what happened when she was interviewed after she and Wilson surrendered to authorities.

“At the time I was very confused,” she responded.

Moore admitted she and Wilson were “romantically involved in the past” and that she wrote to him from prison.

Moore confirmed she, Foxx and Wilson had been under the influence of meth for about five days and were trying to get more at the time of the fatal shooting.

“They were both being paranoid,” she said.

During jury selection, Fowler suggested the shooting was the result of Wilson panicking in a stressful situation and acting in self defense.

Wilson, a Franklin High graduate living outside Lebanon at the time of the shooting, shot Foxx as they drove with Moore, shattering the back of Foxx’s skull and sending a bullet into one of the homes they were driving by, Vieux said in his opening statement.

The truck crossed through a ditch as Wilson circled back in a futile attempt to find the the pistol before fleeing - first to Caesar Creek Lake Park and then Kentucky where he was hiding with his “Papaw,” Vieux added.

Police turned to the public for assistance and Moore and Wilson turned themselves in days later. Wilson was found after one of Foxx’s friends sent authorities a picture of Wilson and Foxx posing happily in the flatbed of a truck.

The jury deliberated for just under eight hours before reaching a verdict. A sentencing hearing is to be scheduled.

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