Trial for man accused of murder in family feud begins

Trial for man accused of murder in family feud begins

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The trial for a man charged with murder as part of a family feud began Monday afternoon with the jury being seated and opening statements were made.

This comes as Telly Hopings Jr. rejected a plea deal that would have ended his case without going to trial.

Hopings is accused of shooting and killing Eugene Blackman outside of Lyric's Lounge in 2016.

Police said the killing is linked to a string of violence between two families, including another murder and a house fire.

Prosecutors told the judge that the killing of Blackman was a revenge killing. They said that Blackman was a friend of the person who killed Hopings' cousin. They went on to say that Hopings' cousin's murder was the reason, Hopings shot Blackman in the back before leading police on a high-speed chase.

"The defendant wasn't out for a night at the club. He was out for revenge," said Prosecuting Attorney Drew Wood. "The defendant thought that Eugene Blackman, was friends with his cousin's killer. So the defendant thought about this murder. He planned  this murder. And then the defendant executed his plan."

A judge also ruled Monday morning that the defense won't be able to use testimony from a doctor who evaluated Hopings' mental health. The defense wanted to prove Hopings has PTSD and did not have a clear head at the time of the crime.

The men and women seated on the jury must determine if Hopings is guilty of aggravated murder, murder and two other charges. They will hear from a total of 11 witnesses, including the woman who police say was with Blackman when he was shot.

Surveillance video from the scene of the crime will also be used.

The trial is expected to last a week.

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