The "best buddy" of shooting victim Myles Compton testified Thursday that after Myles Stout shot Compton he told others in the room to say it was self-inflicted.
Kevin West told a jury in the courtroom of Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman that, while the 18-year-old victim lay on the floor bleeding to death, Stout stated, "Tell 'em he shot himself."
The witness said Stout offered no aid to the victim. He said, "It was like it didn't matter. He was looking out for himself."
Stout, 21, is facing trial for second-degree murder and reckless endangerment.
West said he became friends with Compton at school and they did things together almost every day after getting off work. He said at the time of the March 9, 2011, incident at a home in Mountain Shadows, Compton was working at Valvoline.
He said Kevin Driscoll called earlier that day about them coming over to his house. He said after he got together with Compton at the Hobby Lobby parking lot, he called Driscoll because they did not have any other plans. He said Driscoll told him to come on over.
West said he left his truck at a nearby Mapco and he rode to Stoney Mountain Drive with Compton.
He said they were directed up to Driscoll's bedroom where they also found Driscoll's girlfriend, Amanda Freeman, as well as Stout. They had met Daniel Finley going down the stairs while they went up.
The witness said there were two guns in the room and Driscoll handed both to him. He said he checked both to make sure they were "clear." He said the black 40 caliber SIG that was used in the Compton shooting had a clip containing 12 hollow point bullets that he removed. He said he handed the clip to Driscoll and he does not know what happened to it after that. He said he last saw the black gun on Driscoll's bed.
He said Compton "didn't want to look at the guns or touch them or have anything to do with the guns."
West said he was in a corner talking with Driscoll and Ms. Freeman when "out of nowhere there was a bang." He said he looked up to see Compton with his hands up and Stout aiming the handgun at his chest.
He said, "That was my best buddy. I knew it wasn't a prank because blood was running out of his mouth and his nose. I sat there with Myles until there was nothing left to do. It was instant."
West said he ran outside to a mailbox so he could give an address to the 911 dispatcher, "then I went back upstairs to sit with Myles."
Daniel Finley said he knew Stout through a mutual friend, but he said it was his first time to meet Driscoll. He said Stout and Driscoll were cutting up a tree at a neighbor's house when he arrived in the early afternoon.
He said he played a "Call of Duty" video game with Stout and they later had steaks that Driscoll cooked. He said he went with Driscoll, Stout and Ms. Freeman to buy beer at Mapco. He said Driscoll knew someone at Mapco who would occasionally sell him beer though he was underage. He said Stout went in and came out with two cases of beer.
In Driscoll's bedroom, he said Stout and Driscoll were drinking a beer. He said he cut a blister off his foot with a small knife and Driscoll showed him "a real man's knife." He said Stout and Driscoll then began seeing which one could plunge the long knife the deepest into an anatomy dictionary.
He said Driscoll then mentioned having some guns hidden in the room and Stout began trying to guess where they were. He said Driscoll told him, "You'll never find them" and Stout said, "I bet I will."
Finley, who is now in the Army, said Driscoll eventually picked up a mattress and the two guns were under there.
He said Driscoll cleared one of the guns for sure and he believes he cleared the black gun as well to make sure it would not fire.
`Finley said Stout was on the bed waving the black gun back and forth, including toward him. He said he moved Stout's arm away, telling him not to point the gun at him.
He said Stout replied, "Bro, it's unloaded."
He said he answered, "I don't like an unloaded gun pointed at me."
Finley said he was texting with a girlfriend, then she asked him to get on the phone. He said he then started down the stairs to talk to the girl while sitting on the porch swing. He said he passed West and Compton on the stairs. He said he talked 30-45 seconds with Compton.
He said while talking to the girlfriend he "heard a pop." He said he told the girl he had to "go check on something."
Finley said he opened the front door and heard Amanda Freeman screaming.
He said he ran upstairs and saw Myles Compton's head on the floor sticking out from the bedroom door.
Finley said Stout and Driscoll left the room, leaving him and West with the shooting victim. He said blood was coming out of his chest and then out of his mouth. He said West was trying to stop the chest bleeding.
He said West screamed at him, "Go get help."
Finley said he ran back downstairs, finding Stout and Driscoll in the kitchen. He said he dialed 911, but West hollered from the top of the stairs, "Guys, he's dead."
Finley said he called the girlfriend back, "but I couldn't say anything, so I hung up again."
The jury also heard a 911 call by Stout in which he said Compton shot himself.
Lead Detective Rick Whaley said listening to that tape was one factor that led him to change the charge from reckless homicide to second-degree murder.
Another factor, he said, was "the gun had been safe all night, how all of a sudden did it get loaded?"
He said the black SIG was tested thoroughly and did not have any defects.
Detective Whaley said about a week after the shooting he learned that some bullets had been tossed in the backyard. Driscoll admitted doing so during the trial, saying he had been told to "secure" the gun. Found with a metal detector were two live rounds - a 9mm and a 40 caliber.
Deputy Dale Lockhart said he found the black SIG with a clip still inside. He said when he opened the clip an empty shell casing popped out.