BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — The Officer Johnathan Brown murder trial on Friday entered its third day with a seated jury in the courtroom.

Friday’s testimony provided more insight into events leading up to the March 2021 incident that left one man — Jonathen Kohler — dead and a Bristol, Virginia police officer charged with Kohler’s murder.

Brown’s defense called Darrell Milligan with the Bristol, Virginia Police Department (BVPD) to the stand, with Milligan’s testimony revealing a short span of time between events as they unraveled in the early-morning hours of the officer-involved shooting.

Dispatch first received an active shooting report at 3:16 a.m. on March 30, 2021, according to Milligan. Four BVPD officers, including Brown, were ordered to respond to the scene at the Roadway Inn at 3:17 a.m.

Six minutes later, Brown and other officers arrived at the scene, dispatch communication evidence showed, Within four minutes, the communication center received reports from officers that shots had been fired.

Prosecutors, who rested their case Thursday, cross-examined Milligan. The exchange revealed that the BVPD had not called Virginia State Police to the scene until 4:31 a.m. It was also noted in court Friday that the BVPD never called in the Bristol, Tennessee Police Department or the Washington County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office for backup.

The defense called Dr. Kevin Jenkins to the stand to reveal his findings from an autopsy he conducted on Kohler’s body. Jenkins’ discoveries, according to the doctor, showed several inconsistencies with what Medical Examiner Dr. Gayle Suzuki previously presented to the court.

Jenkins noted “sizeable fragments of bullet” in Kohler’s brain, and a CT scan showed clusters of minute bullet pieces that indicated Kohler had been shot from the front — all of these findings, according to Jenkins, were consistent with bullets from Brown’s .223 Remington.

Immediate medical intervention would not have changed the outcome.

Dr. Kevin Jenkins in court on April 22, 2022

Virginia State Police (VSP) Lt. Geoffrey Lewis with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrived at the fatal officer-involved shooting scene at 5:30 a.m. Lewis testified in court on Friday that he had told the defendant’s attorney, Heather Howard, that day (March 30, 2021) that is it illegal for officers to shoot inside a vehicle. Howard rebutted, stating that shooting inside a vehicle is not illegal if it is being used as a weapon.

VSP Special Agent Starnes was brought to the stand, during which he testified that Kohler’s vehicle had not swung around upon its impact with another vehicle in the parking, indicating it had not been traveling at a high rate of speed.

An expert witness called to the stand by the defense was Dennis Burris, who was described as an authority on Ford Mustangs and high-performance modifications to Ford Mustangs.

“That vehicle has definitely been modified,” Burris said of Kohler’s Mustang. According to Burris, a stock 1994 Mustang has 215 horsepower, but Kohler’s had been modified to give it roughly 300-350 horsepower. That modification would make the vehicle faster and louder, as pointed out by the defense.

When asked by the Commonwealth if the vehicle’s modifications and equipped drifting tires were illegal, Burris said yes, they were due to the emission levels caused by them.

Starnes described what is known as investigative detention, which allows officers to detain suspects they believe have committed, are committing or will commit a crime under reasonable suspicion.

The defense asked Starnes if there is a low threshold for what is considered reasonable suspicion, to which he replied with, “yes.” However, Starnes said it is not lawful to shoot someone who is fleeing from investigative detention. Howard asked if it would be appropriate for an officer to shoot if they felt their life was in danger, to which Starnes also replied, “yes.”

Commonwealth’s Attorney Don Caldwell cross-examined Starnes, asking that if an officer believed a suspect had a weapon, would that officer let it be known to other officers at the scene? Starnes revealed, however, that bodycam footage showed that no officer ever mentioned that Kohler was believed to be armed.

Starnes also stated that the four Bristol officers had originally been called to the scene of a shots fired call — not an active shooting. He stated that the Roadway Inn is located in a high-crime area and that an active shooting involves a suspect actively shooting; whereas shots fired calls indicate only that someone had heard gunshots.

One witness called to the stand said he rushed his children into the bathroom after hearing the gunshots. Walter Robinette testified, stating that he had been staying in Room 125 of the Roadway Inn with his children on the morning of the shooting. Robinette said he heard five gunshots around 3 a.m., prompting him to move his family into the bathroom.

“I was scared of gunshots coming through the window or door,” Robinette said.

Once his children were in the bathroom, Robinette said he called 911 and reported the shots fired. He also told dispatchers that he saw a Ford pickup truck leaving the motel’s parking lot and – believing that vehicle to be involved – told authorities to be on the lookout for that truck.

After officers had arrived at the motel, Robinette said he heard police yell “stop” several times, along with tires screeching and, eventually, gunshots.

Another witness who was in one of the motel rooms at the time of the shooting took the stand. Marianne Perkey was in Room 123 and testified that as she was getting ready for bed, she heard five or six gunshots. Perkey said she rolled onto the floor of the room and called both the front desk and 911. She said on the stand that she remembers thinking “somebody was shooting at us, that we were gonna die.”

Perkey said in court that after she got up, she heard cars pulling up and doors shut as Brown and the other officers arrived to the scene. She said she looked through the peephole of her door and saw officers approach Kohler in his Ford Mustang.

“He started driving toward the cops, and the cop shot him,” Perkey said on the stand. While testifying, Perkey pointed to Brown.

The court went into recess for the weekend. The trial is scheduled to resume Monday.