Jurors deliberated for about an hour Wednesday before convicting Terry Shafer of aggravated assault against a public servant.
The 35th District Court jury then began hearing testimony in the punishment phase of Shafer’s trial. Testimony is scheduled to resume this morning.
Shafer pulled a knife in the Brown County Courthouse when sheriff’s deputy Wayne Coffman attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Shafer on Jan. 5, 2007, testimony showed.
Shafer waved the knife around for several minutes, saying he wasn’t going to jail and telling deputies to shoot him. Sheriff’s Sgt. Tony Aaron talked Shafer into surrendering, testimony showed.
Defense attorney Tom Watson argued that Shafer was attempting “suicide by cop” and was a threat only to himself.
District Attorney Micheal Murray asked, “How do you get a police officer to kill you without posing a deadly threat to the officer? The answer is, you don’t.
“It seems kind of silly that we’re here asking if pulling a knife on somebody is a threat.”
Testimony in the punishment phase Wednesday mostly centered around Shafer’s social and criminal history. Shafer was placed on probation following a May 2005 incident in which he failed to stop and render aid after his vehicle hit a man standing near a parked vehicle, testimony showed. Probation officer Robert Allsup testified that Shafer used cocaine and drank alcohol while on probation, and a motion was filed to revoke his probation.
Shafer was previously charged with arson in connection with a fire in a vacant apartment in 2004, and he was charged with aggravated assault following a fight on Jan. 4, 2007, between Shafer and another man.
Shafer hit Ryan Referda in the head three times with a shovel, testimony showed. Referda was also charged in connection with the fight.
Psychiatrist Cheryl Hurd testified testified that she evaluated Shafer last month at the Brown County Jail at the court’s direction. She said Shafer has a drug and alcohol problem, and has depression as a result of his addictions.
Shafer is manipulative, lacks empathy for others and believes violence is an appropriate resolution to conflicts, Hurd testified.