Shooting: 'Some elements indicating premeditation'

Friday, February 20, 2009

More details of the fatal shooting in Cornersville emerged at the accused man's bond hearing on Wednesday.

Judge Roger Brandon set Donnie Sullivan's bond at $250,000, after hearing statements from District Attorney Chuck Crawford and defense attorney Lee Bowles.

Crawford requested that Sullivan be held without bond since it was a criminal homicide, with the investigation on going, and "some elements indicating premeditation."

Local attorney Lee Bowles countered with a request for a bond of $50,000. She stated that Sullivan had two property owners willing to sign for him in order to make bond. Bowles said that Sullivan was a lifelong Marshall County resident with no previous criminal history, and that he was disabled and required medical care that would be difficult to get in jail.

The state called Marshall County Sheriff's Department Detective Bob Johnson to the witness stand. Johnson interviewed Sullivan after the shooting and testified that Sullivan told him there had been an altercation that ended with Sullivan on the ground. Johnson said Sullivan told him he got up off the ground, went into the bedroom, unlocked the gun cabinet, took out the shotgun and loaded it.

"Why didn't you call the police?" Johnson reported he asked Sullivan. "You walked right by the phone."

According to Johnson, Sullivan replied, "I don't know."

Johnson testified that Sullivan told him that the victim, his stepson, Timothy Swaw, came in to the room where he was, and then he shot Swaw.

Bowles asked Johnson if the victim was armed, and Johnson told her Swaw was carrying a .22 rifle.

"So the victim came armed to where the defendant had retreated?" Bowles asked.

"Yes," answered Johnson.

"Is there evidence that the victim pointed his weapon at the defendant?" Crawford asked Johnson.


"Was it loaded?"


By questioning Johnson, Crawford established that the .22 rifle was a semi-automatic and if had it had been loaded the clip would have been visible.

"I think under the circumstances he's entitled to a bond," said Brandon. "It's obviously a murder."

The judge set the bond at $250,000 and Sullivan is due back in court on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 9 a.m.