BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Today marks five days of the State of Texas versus Dabrett Black trial inside the Brazos County Courthouse.
The trial wrapped up a little quicker than usual this week, but the defense was able to bring two witnesses to the stand, one of them being Black's older half-sister.
Before the trial started the prosecution objected to LaNell Black’s testimony, but after further review by the defense the judge swore her in under oath before the jury entered the courtroom.
Once the jury was seated the defense began with a different witness. James Harrup, he spent the majority of his time explaining the fond relationship he and Black built while serving in the military together. The defense utilized Harrup to describe the challenging conditions soldiers are in when serving and how that could lead to PTSD.
Harrup shared he also struggles with his own battles after serving.
"Every soldier leaves with some sort of PTSD," said Harrup.
Harrup shared insight on PTSD triggers and what that looks like, saying, "taste, scent, a sound, or even the color of the sky," could all be triggers.
Before stepping down from the stand Harrup explained how he tried to get help from veteran affairs. But he was never able to get the help he needed. He said his family was a good support system to get him through tough times.
LaNell Black, Dabrett Blacks older half-sister was called to the stand, the defense had her explain to the jury her current occupation as a peer coordinator at Texas A&M. She helps people who suffer from PTSD or schizophrenia.
LaNell shared she once tried to help Black seek help as well. She also shared a moment she discovered Black was in possession of fire arms, she said she took from him and hid them without him knowing.
Before stepping down from the stand she said, “his mother was hindering him from getting help."
Both witnesses emphasized the difference in Black's demeanor before and after his third deployment. They both described it very similarly. Sharing he was happy and positive, then he gradually lost motivation and then became paranoid.
LaNell Black said, "It was like the life was sucked out of him."
The jury was released for the day just before noon. Judge reminded all members to be mindful of refraining from sharing any information from the trial as it may pose a challenge over the weekend. They are expected to return to court on Monday, March 7.