PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The trial began Wednesday for a Bay County man accused of attempted first-degree murder involving a police officer. Terrance Britton allegedly attempted to fire at a Springfield officer three years ago.
The trial began at 9 a.m. in Chief Judge Christopher Patterson’s courtroom and it will continue Thursday morning.
The case stems back to December of 2017. Springfield Police officer Jason Klingensmith said he and his trainee at the time were trying to pull over Britton for suspected DUI when he fled the scene.
During Wednesday’s testimony, they said Britton was driving 60 mph through a residential neighborhood. When the two officers finally got to him, they say he pulled out a pistol and pointed it at them, leading the officers to open fire.
After making contact with the defendant, they claim he attempted to maneuver his gun and fire under Officer Klingensmith’s vest. But he was not successful.
Britton was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder on an officer, aggravated assault on an officer, leaving the scene of a crash involving injury, and DUI among other charges.
Brittons attorney, Michael Kelley, tried to cast doubt that Britton was operating the vehicle and that it was instead being operated by his girlfriend. Kelley also said the evidence cannot prove that he planned on firing at the officer. Kelley alleges the firearm never went off and it’s not possible to prove Britton intended to kill Klingensmith.
The trial is expected to continue Thursday morning.