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19 May 2024

Man accused of streaming shooting on Facebook

Photo: AP


The trial is underway for a Michigan man accused of breaking into a home and shooting a woman while streaming the attack on Facebook Live.

Anthony Gelia, 20, is charged with open murder, first-degree home invasion and felony firearms in the death of 26-year-old Brittany Southwell, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported . An open murder charge allows the jury to decide between first- or second-degree murder.

Police allege Gelia broke into Southwell’s home in Nov. 2016 and fired several shots. She died from a single gunshot wound, the medical examiner said. The bullet entered Southwell’s ride side, punctured her lungs, hit her rib and hit her spine.

Authorities arrested Gelia that evening after they saw him in a white SUV matching the description of a vehicle leaving the scene. Gelia told officers he’d been holding a gun to his head when they stopped his vehicle.

Jackson Police Sgt. Wes Stanton interviewed Gelia the night of the arrest. A recording of the interview was played for the jury, and showed Gelia saying he “didn’t want to hurt anyone.”

The 25-minute Facebook Live recording that Gelia allegedly made before and during the shooting is also expected to be played for the jury.

Andrew Kirkpatrick, Gelia’s attorney, said he won’t deny much of what his client is accused of, but is seeking a lesser charge.

“By the end of this trial, I will ask you to find him guilty, but I ask you to find him guilty of the appropriate charge,” Kirkpatrick said. “Everything he did that night was an act of human stupidity.”