By GARY POPP
Opening arguments began Wednesday afternoon in the trial of a 2011 Jeffersonville murder.
Edward Dale Bagshaw is being tried for the murder of his former wife of seven years, Kelly Bagshaw, who he repeatedly stabbed in her vehicle outside of his home in Lafayette Square Apartments along East 10th Street in Jeffersonville.
Bagshaw’s attorney, Perry McCall of Jeffersonville, is seeking to convince a jury of 10 women and four men that his client was insane when he committed the act and that he acted out of sudden heat, which could lead to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
Bagshaw has admitted to stabbing his wife, and even made a call to authorities Nov. 13, 2011, to report her injuries.
“This is not a whodunit,” Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said to begin his opening remarks. “That is absolutely crystal clear.”
Mull first countered the argument that Bagshaw was insane when he stabbed Kelly Bagshaw 43 times with a folding pocket knife.
Mull told the jurors that Bagshaw had undergone two unrelated evaluations by mental health professionals since the incident, and that both of the results reveal that the defendant may have suffered from depression, but that he is not legally insane.
Mull then explained that the circumstances of the murder do not meet the criteria of acting in sudden heat.
“The evidence will show no provocation to justify manslaughter,” Mull expressed to the jury. “Not even close.”
During McCall’s opening statement, he told the jurors that Bagshaw was in fact provoked before slaying his estranged wife, with whom he biologically shared two children.
McCall said there was no premeditation leading up to Bagshaw’s fatal actions.
“You can snap, and that is what happened,” McCall said. “There was no one, not [Bagshaw] or Kelly Bagshaw that thought this was going to happen.”
He said Bagshaw acted out of rage that he could not keep his family together and that his estranged wife had become involved with another man.
“It is bad, but it is random,” McCall said.
An argument had ensued in Kelly Bagshaw’s vehicle, after she had come to Bagshaw’s home to pick up their children, then 6 and 2 years old.
According to the attorneys’ statements, Bagshaw had asked his wife, who had filed for divorce prior to her death, to come into his apartment to get the kids as the two were separated at the time.
After Kelly Bagshaw refused to go into the home, Bagshaw went outside and got into the passenger seat of her vehicle. An argument ensued that ended in the fatal stabbing.
Following the opening statements, Mull called six people to the witness stand before presiding Clark County Judge Vicki Carmichael.
He first called Shelly Gaines, a woman who had taken legal guardianship of Kelly Bagshaw when she was 14 years old.
Gaines said she was 26 when she took guardianship of Kelly Bagshaw, and the two had remained close friends until the day of her death.
Gaines said the Bagshaws’ marriage was tumultuous, and that Kelly Bagshaw and the children would live with her for weeks at a time when the couple was not getting along.
“I was always there for her,” Gaines, 43, said of her relationship with Kelly Bagshaw.
While responding to Mull’s questioning, Gaines said that she knew her friend would, at times, become fearful of Bagshaw.
Mull then called Buffy Jackson and William Johnson, a married couple, who lived a few doors down from Bagshaw in Lafayette Square Apartments at the time of the incident.
Jackson and Johnson both gave emotional testimonies as they provided details of finding Kelly Bagshaw lying in a pool of blood next to her car.
The couple was making trips back and forth from Johnson’s pickup truck to their third-floor apartment preparing to do laundry when they heard muffled screams coming from Kelly Bagshaw’s vehicle.
Johnson said he heard the screaming coming from nearby, but was not immediately able to identify where, for several minutes before he and Jackson went to the area outside of Bagshaw’s home.
Johnson said he and Jackson found Kelly Bagshaw lying lifeless face down on the pavement.
“I have never experienced anything like that in my life, sir,” Johnson said in response to Mull’s inquires. “You could just tell it was something awful. So much blood — as if an animal had been slaughtered.”
The couple was not only concerned about Kelly Bagshaw’s condition, Johnson and Jackson also noticed a young girl, later identified as the Bagshaw’s daughter, starring at her dying mother through the window of her apartment.
Jackson said she tried her best to motion the child from the window, but the girl just continued to blankly stare at the bloody scene through the window.
Jackson said she then attempted to obscure the girl’s view of her mother by standing in front of the window.
Mull also called to the witness stand two emergency dispatchers who received the 911 call from Bagshaw that he had made from his home as his wife remain lying in the parking lot.
He also played the audio from a 911 call for the jurors.
In the call Bagshaw told the dispatchers that he had cut his wife.
“I think I killed her,” Bagshaw could be heard saying on the recording. “She came up here starting trouble with me.”
Mull then called a Yellow Ambulance paramedic to the stand who had responded to the scene.
The paramedic said at no point in the response or transport to the hospital could Kelly Bagshaw’s heartbeat or breath be found as CPR was administered.
The trial was scheduled to continue Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 this morning.