About two hours before Bradley Anderson said he took a gun out of his holster and shot and killed a man in front of his Elizabethtown home, he had looked up self-defense law in Kentucky, according to trial testimony Wednesday.
Andrea Haire of the Elizabethtown Police Department, the lead detective in the case, said the information came from downloaded data history from his electronic devices.
Reading from documents, Haire said searches took place at 7:25 p.m. April 5, 2018 — the night of the shooting — on Google and Wikipedia for the “Castle Doctrine,” which addresses the use of force when defending oneself inside their home or on their property.
Stanley McFalda Jr., 26, was shot and killed around 9:30 p.m. based on phone records of 911 calls at 9:31 p.m., including one from Anderson.
The “Castle Doctrine” searches later were deleted, Haire testified.
Anderson, 34, a father of three children, exchanged text messages in the hours leading up to the shooting with his girlfriend at the time, Jessica Sklar.
At 9:07 p.m., he texted her, “It’s war,” according to a text transcript Haire read. A few minutes later, cellphone data showed a phone call placed to McFalda.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Lesousky discussed text messages with Haire from documents from March 27, 2018, through the night of the shooting. The messages involved McFalda, Sklar and Cris Ingerson, the mother of Anderson’s children who was living with him at the time of the shooting.
He had sent Sklar a photo about three hours prior to the shooting of a gun on his bed with the message, “So that’s beside me right now.”
She replied, “OK, don’t do anything stupid, please,” Haire read.
Anderson and Ingerson had been in an on-again, off-again relationship for about 11 years prior to the shooting. Ingerson previously testified she moved back into his home at his encouragement to get away from a situation where she had been living with her children.
In a March 28 text from Anderson to Ingerson, he said, “I will always love you; don’t let me go again.”
Anderson’s video interview with EPD Detective Sgt. Matt Hodge and Haire at police headquarters also was played for jurors. That went on for about an hour with Anderson going from initially laughing briefly with Hodge to the last 10 minutes or so of the interview speaking in a low, barely audible voice.
During the interview, Anderson mentioned to Ingerson that McFalda, a father of two children, rarely spent time with them and that “I don’t trust him,” he said of the deceased.
In a conversation on speaker phone less than half an hour before the shooting, Anderson told detectives McFalda started “freaking out.”
“I was aggravated, he was aggravated,” he said.
Anderson said he knew McFalda had guns and said he previously had seen four guns in his truck. He said he believed McFalda had a long rifle behind his back when he arrived April 5 at 929 Greenway Drive to confront him about what he had said.
Anderson admitted in the interview McFalda was waving both arms.
“He started going off,” he said.
Anderson saw McFalda shove Ingerson aside and said McFalda had a hand behind his back. Anderson grabbed a 9 mm handgun from his holster and shot McFalda in the head, Anderson testified.
He said he placed his gun in the grass along with other gun magazines and called 911, as did Ingerson.
“I lit a cigarette and saw lights coming,” he said. Anderson remained at the house after the shooting.
He said McFalda never touched him during the interaction the night of the shooting and he was on his way to his vehicle when McFalda arrived in his truck in front of the home.
McFalda was unarmed and authorities found no guns in the truck.
Ingerson testified last Friday she was facing McFalda when the two men were arguing. Anderson said Ingerson was facing him, trying to hold McFalda back, in the police interview.
“It’s a split second to pull the gun out and pull the trigger,” Hodge said. “The demonstration you showed us, it doesn’t seem you would have had the opportunity.”
Anderson estimated he was within about four feet of McFalda when he fired his gun.
The trial continues at 9 a.m. today with Haire on the stand to be questioned by the defense. Anderson is charged with murder and faces between 20 and 50 years, or life in prison, if convicted.