Vidor woman on trial for murder
The trial of Julia Andrews, 59, of Vidor, who is accused of murdering 42-year-old Randy Peddy began on Monday in the 260th District Court with Judge Buddie Hahn presiding.
Deputy Greg Harbison, of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office was the first to take the stand. He testified he was called out at 8:40 p.m. in November 2012 to the 1400 block of Terry Road in Vidor. When he arrived he was told by Andrews, Peddy was intoxicated and he was about to lay down. She also told Harbison, “Everything was OK.”
Harbison stated he returned to the residence about 9:40 p.m. on a disturbance call where he found Peddy deceased laying by the driveway in a fetal position.
“She told me she had shot him,” he said.
He added, Andrews also repeatedly told him, “she was sorry.”
According to court testimony, Andrews also told the officer she and Peddy had gotten into an altercation after he threw foundation blocks on her 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier causing the front,rear and driver’s side windows to be smashed.
State exhibits entered into evidence were pictures which showed redness on her face, neck, and shoulder. Also admitted was a photo of her arm which showed abrasions. However, a mug shot taken a few hours later does not show the red marks.
Texas Ranger Bobby Smith was the next to take the stand.
After Andrews was transported to the OCSO, Smith met with her and took a videotaped statement. At first, Andrews sobbed while she gave the statement. Then she gained her composure as she told of the events which unfolded over the course of the day.
Andrews stated on the day of the incident, Peddy had come to her house earlier on the premise of repairing her muffler on her car. She had discovered he was drinking vodka when a bottle fell out of his pocket. From experience, she said she knew that was not a good thing and took him to his father’s house. Peddy returned later in the day still intoxicated. At first he was visting with other family members. But, he approached her when he wanted to talk about his relationship with her daughter. She didn’t think that was a good idea and told him no.
Later, court testimony would reveal, Andrews had been involved with Peddy in a relationship. When the pair were together, they were said to be very openly affectionate. But, on Andrews’ birthday in July, instead of attending her party he went to the beach with her daughter Jackie Ezell. They soon began dating and he ended the relationship with Andrews.
“Her feelings were hurt,” said Kailee Hunt, 21, who lived at the residence.
Ezell, called the residence and Andrews told her Peddy was there.
Ezell, concerned about her mother, called for police to go check on her mother at the residence which set of the deadly chain of events.
“I really didn’t think my daughter would call the law,” she said. “I mean, that’s her boyfriend.”
Andrews said Peddy became angry when he was told the officers were there for him. Andrews attempted to make him lay down again, but failed.
After the police were called, he became angry and the situation began to escalate.
Peddy had gone outside and began hitting her vehicle with the foundation blocks. She attempted to stop him but in her statement told officers he pushed and hit her. She also stated Peddy had never hit her before.
Andrews said she repeatedly told him to stop destroying her vehicle.
She went into her house and retrieved a .22 rifle which had been kept loaded behind her bedroom door and went back out onto the porch.
“When I went to get the gun, I wasn’t going to shoot him. I just wanted to scare him,” Andrews said. “All I wanted was for him to just leave.”
When Peddy saw the rifle, he dared her to shoot him.
Andrews stated Peddy began coming towards her and she just “started shooting.”
Andrews fired three shots. Witnesses testified the shots were only seconds apart. But, Andrews in her taped statement said she first fired a “warning shot.” The first shell casing was found near the front door. The other closer to the railing of the porch. The third shell casing was found a few months later on the porch.
“I was just trying to get him to quit destroying my car,” Andrews said.
According to evidence and court testimony by pathologist Dr. Robert Lyon, Peddy was shot in the heart by a single bullet which also penetrated his spine. His blood alcohol level was 0.261 and he had a small amount of diazepam, a muscle relaxant, in his system.
Orange County Assistant District Attorney Cory Kneeland, used a tape measure to show jurors how far Andrews was from Peddy when she shot him. Peddy was about 35 feet away from the side of the porch when the gun was fired.
‘I didn’t mean to kill him. I loved him,” Andrews said in the recorded statement. “But, I didn’t love his ways.”
Kailee Hunt was at the residence when the incident occurred. She testified she had called 9-1-1 when the incident began before Andrews got the gun. A recorded call was played in court. She pleaded with the dispatcher to send help.
“Please hurry, please!” she cried.
A few minutes later Andrews entered the house and put the gun back behind her door in her bedroom.
Paul Arceneaux, investigator for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, testified there were five live rounds remaining in the gun when it was found.
Andrews staggered to the chair in the living room and sat down. She began to sob and said she had shot Peddy, according to court testimony.
Hunt, still on the phone with dispatchers reluctantly went outside to check on Peddy who was gasping for air.
“I was afraid he would get up and attack me,” Hunt said.
She heard emergency personnel coming and didn’t check on Peddy any further.
Hunt said on the stand Peddy had a tire iron in his hand when he was fighting with Andrews, but no tire iron was found at the scene by investigators.
The state and the defense attorney, Greg Dumas, rested Tuesday afternoon.
Dumas called one witness to the stand. Sandra Moore-Turner told jurors she never saw Peddy “lay a finger” on anybody in the house.
During a visit to the Orange County Jail in February, on a recorded line, Andrews told Turner, she would make a good witness and should mention how they feared for their lives.
Closing arguments will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The case will then go the jury of six women and three men for deliberations.
If convicted of the first degree murder charges, Andrews faces up to 99 years or life in prison.
For the verdict and the possible sentence check out www.therecordlive.com.