A racial slur may have prompted a fight in which a Louisiana man was charged with killing another man.

 


A racial slur may have prompted a fight in which a Louisiana man was charged with killing another man.
   Thirty-seven-year-old Tommy L. Harrison is accused of second-degree murder in the 2008 beating death of Richard L. Marshall.
   Harrison’s trial begins with jury selection Tuesday in Lincoln County, where the case was moved on a change of venue. Harrison is black and Marshall was white.
   Harrison’s girlfriend, Tracy Davis, discussed what may have led to the Sept. 15 fight in a statement to Jeff Windmiller of the Louisiana Police Department.
   Davis “stated that Tommy was upset because Mr. Marshall had called him a nigger and was at her residence inside prior to the assault,” Windmiller wrote in the document. “Mr. Harrison became upset and walked from her residence to where Mr. Marshall was and a fight took place.”
   Records show police were dispatched to an alley behind 415 Virginia in Louisiana at 10:26 p.m. Sept. 15. The responding officer reported finding Marshall unresponsive with head injuries.
   Timothy Harrison, who is not related to the suspect, told authorities he called police after hearing screaming in the alley and discovering Marshall. He said he saw a black man “striking Mr. Marshall on the back as if trying to assist him,” according to the report.
   Timothy Harrison said he also saw in the alley two of Marshall’s granddaughters and Davis, whom he said was talking on a cell phone.
   “He heard the girls yelling at the black man, saying, ‘What did you do, Tommy? You killed him,’” Windmiller wrote. “The black male said ‘The f----- came at me with a bat.’”
   Timothy Harrison reported the girls and Davis left after the suspect reportedly said an ambulance should be called. Timothy Harrison told the man he had called police.
   At least two people witnessed part of the fight and another saw its aftermath.
   Jeremy Lanier said Marshall had come to 415 Virginia about 10 p.m. in a panic and asked “for a baseball bat because three black males were going to jump him,” according to a statement.
   “Mr. Lanier tried to calm Mr. Marshall and tell him to leave it alone because he was intoxicated,” the statement reads. “Mr. Marshall went past him to the bedroom, grabbed a t-ball bat and exited the house.”
   Lanier said he and his former girlfriend, Shonda Ingram, left the house 20 minutes later and saw a black man “straddled over Mr. Marshall, who was lying on the ground face up motionless, striking him repeatedly with both fists to the face.,” according to the report.
   Lanier told authorities he “heard the black male yell ‘Where’s your bat now, p----?’ as he picked up Mr. Marshall and slammed him down.”
   Lanier said he saw one of Marshall’s granddaughters approach. The girl told the man to stop hitting Marshall.
   “Mr. Lanier said he heard the black male say ‘That little girl don’t mean s--- to me,” police reported.
   Ingram told authorities she saw the suspect repeatedly striking Marshall. Ingram “stated she did not ever see Mr. Marshall attempt to fight back or make any noise,” the statement read. “She stated Mr. Marshall looked like a rag doll being thrown around.”
   The other witness, Erin Stewart, told police she heard the scuffle and recognized Marshall’s voice, but couldn’t make out what he was saying.
   By the time Stewart went outside to see what was going on, a police car was arriving. Stewart told authorities “a black male known to her as Tommy Harrison jumped over her baby stroller and ran west.”
   Davis reported Tommy Harrison returned to her house and asked for the keys to her vehicle, but when she offered them, he “returned them and left in an unknown direction,” according to a statement.
   In his report, Windmiller wrote that he saw a red ball bat with blood on it and a plastic fish bowl that had been filled with water to try to revive Marshall.
   Marshall was taken by ambulance to Pike County Memorial Hospital in Louisiana, where he was pronounced dead at 10:50 p.m. Harrison turned himself in a week later.
   Despite a bond-reduction deal approved by a judge, Harrison remained Thursday in the Pike County Jail at Bowling Green.
   The trial is expected to last two days. A conviction for second-degree murder carries a penalty of 10 years to 30 years in prison.