Lead witness in murder case killed - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Lead witness in murder case killed

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FALL RIVER, Mass. -

The key witness in a Bristol County, Mass., murder case was shot and killed by police in Pennsylvania.

A Pennsylvania state trooper shot and killed 21-year-old Jared Brown Garnham of Taunton on Saturday night in Pittsburgh.

Garnham was a key witness in a Taunton murder trial that is now just getting under way.

Police in Pennsylvania said Garnham abducted his ex-girlfriend's 8-month-old daughter, leading to an Amber alert and police chase.

Ultimately, investigators say Garnham tried to crash through perimeter gates and police barricades at Pittsburgh International Airport.

"At this point, the actor threatened the child's life, held a knife to the child's neck, threatened to kill the child, and was taunting the officer saying, 'Shoot me, shoot me,' and holding the child up as a human shield," said Lt. Andrew Schurman of the Allegheny County Police.

That's when the trooper fired the fatal shot, killing a man who was important to prosecutors in Massachusetts.

Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of Jean Carlos Lopez.

Lopez is accused in the killing of Tigan Hollingsworth in Taunton in June 2010.

The Taunton Gazette reported that the prosecutor told the judge Monday that Jared Brown Garnham was the only witness who puts Lopez at the murder scene.

With Garnham now dead, the prosecutor asked the judge for some extra time before the trial resumes.

The Bristol County District Attorney's Office said it can't say much because the trial is just beginning.

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