'Snakeman's' murder trial begins

Julian Bell accused in Northeast side motel murder

Author: Paul Venema, Reporter, pvenema@ksat.com
Published On: Jun 05 2012 04:04:08 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 05 2012 03:09:04 PM CDT

A man prosecutors say often roamed the grounds of a motel where he lived with a boa constrictor over his shoulder is on trial for the shotgun slaying of another resident.

Julian Bell, 31, is accused of killing Jason Ross, 28, after prosecutors say Ross refused to allow Bell to “hang with him” in June 2011.

Ross was shot at point-blank range after answering a knock on his door at the Travel Inn on Industry Park Drive.

“He had someone knock on the door for him and when (Ross) opened the door, he raised a shotgun and shot it into his side immediately,” prosecutor Tanner Neidhardt told the jury during his opening statement.

He said Bell then went into Ross’ room and fired again.

“He stood over him like a hurt dog on the side of the road and he shot one more shot into his head,” Neidhardt said.

Motel security camera video showed Bell walking along a motel walkway but did not capture the actual shooting because there was no camera on the second floor.

Testimony in Bell’s trial will resume on Wednesday in Judge Raymond Angelini’s 187th District Court.

If he is found guilty, Bell is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison.