State forensic expert testifies in Montpelier murder trial

BARRE, Vt. (WCAX) The trial of a Barre man accused of first-degree murder continued in Washington County Thursday.

An analyst from the Vermont Forensic Lab testified on how bullets interact with objects. State prosecutors say Jayveon Caballero intentionally shot Markus Austin in Montpelier through the windshield of his car while he was sitting in the drivers seat in 2017. Austin was a semi-pro basketball player for the former Vermont Frost Heaves.

The defense team says the shooting was an accident and Caballero shot at the passenger side windshield, which led the bullet to deflect off the interior of the car. They say Austin was standing outside on the drivers side when the bullet hit him in the chest.

If the jury finds it was an accident, Caballero could face a lesser conviction like manslaughter, which would put him behind bars for up to 15 years. If he's found guilty of first-degree murder he faces life in prison.

The case is expected to go to the jury sometime next week.