A Lubbock father told jurors Tuesday he still suffers from nightmares a year after he shot an intruder who threatened to burn his house down with lighter fluid and a lighter.
Chad Trammell testified in the 140th District Court where Clayton Fillingim pleaded guilty to a first-degree felony count of burglary of a habitation with intent of arson.
Jurors will decide whether to punish Fillingim, a New Home farmer, with a prison sentence between five years to life in prison or place him on probation.
Trammell told jurors his son was awoken by the sound of something breaking about 2 a.m. on Oct. 23, 2016, in their home in the 3700 block of 28th Street.
He said he armed himself with a .45 caliber pistol to investigate the noise and came face-to-face with Fillingim who was pouring lighter fluid on his floor and trying to light it multiple times. He said the lighter’s flames would die out before it reached the accelerant and he tried starting it again.
Trammell said he retreated as Fillingim walked toward him until he backed into a threshold to another room and shot Fillingim once in the stomach.
He said his family went to counseling as his children, who were in the home at the time of the shooting, also suffer from emotional distress.
Fillingim’s attorney, Rod Hobson, asked jurors in his opening statement to consider placing his client on probation, saying his client’s actions that night were fueled by methamphetamine and sleep deprivation. He said Fillingim had at least three surgeries to treat his gunshot wound.
“He’s alive, miraculously,” he said.
Hobson told jurors his client’s drug addiction developed as his marriage frayed about a year earlier. By August 2016, he said. Fillingim had moved out of his home in New Home, where he worked as a farmer, and lived alone in a travel trailer in Lubbock.
The night he broke into the Trammell home, he was sleep deprived and under the influence of drugs.
However, Hobson said, Fillingim’s life has improved since he was released on bond last year and participated in substance abuse programs. He is currently staying at a sober living facility.
Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday. Next, Hobson will present his case to jurors.