County prosecutors use 911 tape as evidence against Rosedale man charged in wife's slaying Woman had planned to leave defendant on day of the killing

January 18, 1996|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

Using a taped confession from a 911 call, Baltimore County prosecutors painted yesterday a chilling picture of a Rosedale man who is being tried for the murder of his wife last summer.

In her opening statement, Assistant State's Attorney Kim Detrick said that Brian Nalls, 26, shot his wife, Kimberly Dawn Nalls, 25, in their kitchen on the day she had planned to leave him and move back in with her mother.

Ms. Detrick told the jury that Mr. Nalls, of the 5700 block of Emelia Ave., shot his wife with a 12-gauge shotgun and that she died within minutes.

As Mrs. Nalls lay bleeding on the floor near the refrigerator, Mr. Nalls called 911, Ms. Detrick said.

"I just shot my wife. I killed her," a voice alleged to be the defendant's told a 911 dispatcher at 3:14 p.m. Aug. 20. The voice sounded breathy and hysterical on the tape, which Ms. Detrick played for the jury and Circuit Judge John F. Fader II.

"It will be a given that the defendant killed his wife," the prosecutor said, telling jury members that they would have to determine whether the slaying was premeditated.

Mr. Nalls' attorney, Joseph S. Lyons, did not make an opening statement yesterday.

"I reserved opening statement in order to present all the evidence at one time," Mr. Lyons said later.

In court, Mr. Nalls rubbed his eyes and nose with a tissue as he sat at the defense table.

Prosecutors called three witnesses: Baltimore County police Officer Brian Martin of the White Marsh precinct, who was the first officer to find Mrs. Nalls' body, and two of the Nallses' neighbors.

One of the neighbors, Charles Gunther Jr., testified that the Nallses' 6-year-old daughter, Alicia, had stayed over at his house with his daughter, Samantha, the night before the killing.

The day of the slaying, Mr. Nalls called him, Mr. Gunther testified, and said, "Charlie, this is Brian. I just shot Kim. Keep Alicia over there," and abruptly hung up.

Minutes later, Mr. Nalls drove away in his wife's 1993 green Ford Mustang, Mr. Gunther testified.

Officer Martin testified that he put out a bulletin with a description of the car. Mr. Nalls was arrested later that day when he stopped the car near a police cruiser in eastern Baltimore County.

Prosecutors say that they will finish presenting their case today and that they expect the trial to end by Monday.

Mr. Nalls, a plumber and construction worker, could face a maximum sentence of 30 years if convicted of second-degree murder and a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of first-degree, premeditated murder.

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