Court adjourns in Bryon Vassey bench trial for “legal issues”

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Bryon Vance Vassey
Bryon Vance Vassey

The bench trial in Bryon Vassey’s voluntary manslaughter case has been delayed a day after the judge ordered court to adjourn Wednesday morning.

State prosecutors and Vassey’s defense team met with Judge Richard Brown outside the courtroom for nearly an hour today. When the judge returned to the courtroom, Brown said based upon their discussion in chambers on some “legal issues” that have arisen in the case, he would allow the day for attorneys to conduct additional research on those matters.

Brown said he is also conducting his own research into the matters, which were not discussed further in open court. This is the second week of trial in Vassey’s case. Vassey is accused of shooting and killing 18-year-old Keith Vidal at his President Road home in Boiling Spring Lakes on Jan. 5, 2014.

Vassey, who was a Southport police officer at the time and is now on unpaid administrative leave, was the last of three officers on scene, after Vidal’s stepfather called police to their home for help. Vassey arrived on scene one minute and ten seconds before he fired a single shot that killed Vidal.

At the conclusion of the state’s evidence in the trial Tuesday morning, the judge denied a defense motion to dismiss the charge against Vassey.

The defense moved to present their first witness in the case, Moira Freierson Artigues, a general and forensic psychiatrist in private practice. Her testimony began Tuesday afternoon as an expert witness for the defense. Court adjourned before Artigues could take the stand again on Wednesday.

The trial will resume Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. in Brunswick County Superior Court.

Read previous trial coverage:

Read previous coverage of the case: