Death of Austin architect case goes to jury

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by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News and KVUE.com

kvue.com

Posted on July 11, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 11 at 6:22 PM

AUSTIN -- The case against a man accused of killing an Austin architect on 6th Street is now in the hands of a Travis County jury.

Matt Casey died from a fractured skull last September. Police say Preston Sharpnack hit him, causing him to fall and hit his head.

Sharpnack is facing two to 20 years and no probation for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is also charged with manslaughter.

On Thursday, Sharpnack's girlfriend, who was there when the fight took place, took the stand.

"I remember him being angry, threatening me and putting his hands on me. I realized he's not afraid to hit a girl," Renee Jones testified. She later said, "He laid his hands on me. It was kind of like shock. It's not everyday a stranger puts his hands on you for no reason."

"Preston cared enough about me enough to defend me, and I love him for that. I would have done the same thing. And if it was Matthew Casey who needed self-defense, we would've come to his aid. It just didn't go down like that," Jones said.

On Wednesday, lawyers argued whether to allow evidence that Star Bar banned Casey because of a different fight.

Thursday, forensics experts testified.

The jury has to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Sharpnack knowingly or recklessly caused serious bodily injury to Casey, and they have to decide whether he was doing it in self-defense or defense of another person. 

Follow tweets from our reporter Jessica Holloway who's at the trial:

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