Witnesses testify during second day of murder trial


RED BLUFF, Calif. - Witnesses were called to the stand Thursday in the second day of the murder trial of a Tehama County man accused of shooting his ex-wife and father-in-law.

The second day of the murder trial focused on more testimony from witnesses to the shooting on July 2, 2015.

John Noonkester of Lake California is being charged with two counts of murder of his ex-wife Kimberlee Thomas and father-in-law Keith Thomas.

A deputy with the Tehama County Sheriff's Office testified a conversation with Noonkester prior to the shooting, where Noonkester told him "I guess it's up to me to keep my kids safe."

The deputy said Noonkester was irate and unstable regarding the custody of his two daughters.

When he talked with Noonkester at the scene of the shooting, Noonkester told him "I ain't proud of what I done, so I ain't looking at no cameras."

A detective sergeant with the Tehama County Sheriff's Office said Noonkester did not resist arrest.

The sergeant testified when Noonkester overheard a conversation between him and another officer about other victims, Noonkester asked, "I didn't shoot anybody else, did I? I didn't hurt anybody else, did I?"

Another deputy also testified Noonkester was cooperative when searched, saying, "I'm not going to fight you."

The clerk at the Little Country Store where the shooting happened was also called to the stand.

She said Kimberlee asked to use the store phone to call 911.

A recording of that call was played where Kimberlee is heard telling dispatch Noonkester was supposed to return her children and spat in her father's face.

After gunshots were fired, the clerk took the phone and told dispatch a man and a woman had been shot.

A customer who was in the store during the shooting testified that the shooter's demeanor was calm and expressionless when his rifle was pointed towards the entrance of the store.

Witnesses will continue to testify Friday morning.

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