Self-defense or murder? Chesco man stands trial for shooting neighbor

Jim Melwert
June 07, 2019 - 3:34 pm
Clayton Carter stands trial for the fatal shooting of his neighbor George Jennings

Courtesy of the Chester County Police Department

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CESTER COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) —A Chester County man is on trial for killing his next-door neighbor in West Goshen Township back in August 2017.  

No one disputes Clayton Carter shot and killed George “Brooks” Jennings. What is in dispute is whether it was justified-self-defense or murder.

In opening statements, Assistant District Attorney Vincent Cocco calls the shooting a cold-blooded, calculated execution.

He says the two men often argued, going back and forth for hours on the day of the killing.

Cocco also says Carter shot Jennings in the face from inches away, stood over him while he was on the ground and fired another shot into his head, then dropped a knife by the body to claim self-defense.

However, defense attorney Joseph Green says Jennings was making a concerted effort to make Carter uncomfortable in hopes of forcing him to move; calling him “sponge” because he was living with his father-in-law.

Green says Carter called the cops several times because of run-ins with Jennings. But, according to Green, police never did anything because Jennings was the Republican committeeman and the cops, in Green’s words, cut him a break.