Outlaw country music legend Billy Joe Shaver was found not guilty for shooting Billy Coker with a .22 pistol outside Papa Joe’s Saloon in Lorena, TX, on March, 31st of 2007. After less then two hours of deliberating, the jury came back with a not guilty verdict, just after 6 PM Central time according to The Statesman.
“Billy Joe Shaver grew testy during cross-examination at his aggravated assault trial today, bristling when a prosecutor suggested that he has cultivated an outlaw reputation. “More like an outcast, “ Shaver said under questioning by McLennan County Assistant District Attorney Beth Toben.”
Shaver faced up to 20 years in prison if he was found guilty. Though Shaver’s case looked grim at times during the trial, with witnesses refuting his assertions that Billy Coker had been intimidating him and that he was “fearful” and shot Coker in self defense, Shaver by all accounts never seemed scared of the verdict, booking shows for after the trial. He’s playing a gig in Houston tonight.
“I knew in my heart we would win.” Shaver said after the trial.
“The defense to aggravated assault is self defense. It’s a God given right that is recognized by our law since time began,” said Shaver’s lawyer Dick DeGuerin.
The song Where Do You Want It? written by Dale Watson did come up in the trial.
“I actually asked him “Why do you want to do this.” For one reason or another someone turned it into “Where do you want it,” Shaver said. “You’re still gonna write the song but with different lyrics,” the prosecutor Toben asked.
Shaver and his lawyer objected to that comment and caused verbal outbursts by some of the observers in state District Judge Matt Johnson’s courtroom. Shaver said that earlier he was referring to how Dale Watson had written a song called “Where do you want it,” from accounts from the original affidavit.
Shaver friends Willie Nelson and Robert Duvall showed up support Billy Joe at the trial. You can see a video of Willie from the courtroom by clicking here.
Photo from Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald