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Published: Friday, 12/2/2005

Fatal shooting was self-defense, defendant's attorney says

Jamal C. Bradley feared for his life when he encountered Meredith Warren and shot him in a Toledo bar more than two years ago, a defense attorney yesterday told a Lucas County Common Pleas Court jury.

Bradley, 28, is charged with murder for the Oct. 18, 2003, shooting death of Warren.

In his opening statement, Jay Feldstein, Bradley's attorney, told jurors that they would hear testimony about the circumstances that led to the shooting inside The Other Club, 384 Phillips Ave.

Warren, 24, who lived on Hamilton Street, was shot during an altercation with the defendant. He died 28 days later in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center of complications from a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Mr. Feldstein told the jury that the shooting stemmed from an incident five months earlier when Warren was beat up in a fight with Bradley and another man, and the dispute lingered through the summer.

He said Warren, who lost a tooth in the quarrel, confronted Bradley several months later in a gas station parking lot.

On the night of the shooting, witnesses said Bradley shot Warren after the victim took a swing at the defendant and missed.

Mark Herr, a county assistant prosecutor, told the panel that the victim didn't have a weapon when he encountered Bradley in the bar. Testimony in the trial is expected to continue today.

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