Trial begins in 2010 hatchet slaying

Brian Fleming accused of killing roommate with hatchet


In the early-morning hours of June 19, 2010, Robert Bonnett was killed.

His roommate, Brian Fleming, 49, called police from the men's Mulberry Street apartment that morning and said he had been in a fight and had been stabbed.

As Fleming's trial on murder charges began on Tuesday, prosecutor Daniel Walker told that jury in his opening remarks that Fleming would give detectives several accounts of what happened that morning.

"The evidence is going to show you that there is an inconsistency between what the defendant is saying -- how he described what happened and how it happened -- and what the physical evidence will show you," Walker said.

Fleming's attorney said it was not murder but rather a case of self-defense.

"It's simple," said defense attorney Brandon Hudson. "Mr. Fleming was in a fight that he did not start with Robert Bonnett."

According to prosecutors, Fleming has a knife wound in his leg. Bonnett had massive head injuries and a bloody hatchet -- the murder weapon, according to prosecutors -- was found nearby.

If he is convicted of murder, Fleming is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Testimony will continue on Wednesday in Judge Lori Valenzuela's 437th District Court.

For a list of recent stories Paul Venema has done, click here.

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