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Vaughn Murder Trial: Witness describes suspect after wife, kids were fatally shot

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Joliet courtroom heard the 911 call from a man who found Christopher Vaughn wounded on the side of a road in 2007.

Vaughn is charged with killing his wife and three children that same day.

Witness testimony in the Christopher Vaughn trial continued to move at a brisk pace Wednesday. The first witness on the stand was the passing motorist who first encountered an injured Vaughn by the side of the road minutes after the June 2007 shootings that took his family's lives.

"There was blood coming, I thought it was coming from his chest, but I guess it was from his arm," said John Spear, who then told prosecutors that Vaughn told him, "I believe my wife just shot me."

Spear's 911 call was also played in court. At one point jurors heard the operator asking spear to get Vaughn's personal information, but Vaughn remains silent.

"I think he went into shock," says Spear.

Christopher Vaughn is accused of fatally shooting his wife Kimberly and their three children on June 14, 2007 inside the family's SUV while stopped on a frontage road just off of I-55 near Channahon. Vaughn has always maintained that it was Kimberly who injured him, shot the children, and then killed herself.

Vaughn's demeanor and reactions were Wednesday's theme. Following Spear on the witness stand were a Channahon police officer and three paramedic/firefighters who responded to the call for help.

"He had a cloudy look to him," said paramedic Derek Ellenberger, adding that "his eyes seemed, to look through me. I tried to ask questions. He didn't seem to answer anything."

Prosecutors painted a picture of a man who was more concerned about his boots and leather jacket being ruined by paramedics than for his children's safety. One witness after another testified that Vaughn never inquired about them. But one Will County sheriff's investigator said that once in the hospital Vaughn asked if his wife Kimberly had been notified of where he was. He said she always wanted to know where he was at.

On Thursday, the jury is expected to hear testimony from an employee at a gun range where Christopher Vaughn was seen practicing the evening before the shooting.

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