Bobbitt related what Nichols told him on July 3, the day the defendant's bond was issued.
“He (Nichols) said Rosiland kept ranting and raving and then it got quiet. She started up again and he said he went to his car and got his gun. He said he fired two shots; one that hit her, but she wouldn't be quiet.
After the second shot, she was quiet,” Bobbitt testified.
Defense attorney Bradley Lollar mentioned that Bobbitt had said he would be a character witness for Nichols. Then Lollar asked Bobbitt if he made notes about the fact that Nichols had admitted to killing Rosiland that day. “No, I didn't think I needed to take notes,” Bobbitt responded.
Nichols, who pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder on Wednesday in the Smith County 7th District Court, faces up to 99 years or life in prison if convicted of the first-degree felony. The defendant is accused of shooting and killing his wife Rosiland on June 29 in their Tyler home. The two argued before the incident about Nichols' frequent absence from home on Fridays.
A second witness, Rhonda Mothershead, an LVN with one of the Trinity Mother Frances clinics, said she called Nichols to confirm a medical appointment, but he said he couldn't make it because of legal problems. “He told me that he had killed his wife and wouldn't be able to make the appointment,” Ms. Mothershead testified.
“I asked him if he wanted to re-schedule, but he said he couldn't because he would be in the penitentiary,” she said.
The prosecution also played a video recording of a police interview with Nichols, in which he confesses to shooting his wife.
Prosecutors tried to show that Nichols intentionally shot his wife. Vance showed jurors about 30 detailed pictures of the inside of their home and talked about how Mrs. Nichols' bedroom, the living areas and the sitting area in which Mrs. Nichols was shot were filled with pictures of the family. But photos of Nichols' study and bedroom did not have family photos, prosecutors pointed out.
Vance pointed out to Malmstrom, even walking out into the courtroom at one point, to illustrate the distance that Nichols would have had to walk through the 3,000 square foot house to retrieve a gun from his truck, then walk back into the house to shoot his wife twice.
Lollar then questioned Malmstrom. “How could an experienced hunter miss the shot, unless the miss was unintended and the hit was accidental?”
Vance then countered, saying “if one missed, he wanted to make sure the other one hit her. That's an intentional act,” he said.
Prosecutors showed the jurors a photo of a deceased Mrs. Nichols sitting between two pillows on the couch where she allegedly had been killed. One of the pillows looked as if someone had leaned on it, and the other looked undisturbed.
Rackliff testified, in response to questioning from prosecutors, that the pillow indentation could have been caused by Mrs. Nichols slumping forward as she was shot. But Lollar said his client had been giving Mrs. Nichols CPR after she was shot, and that this was the reason for the indentation.
But Smith County Assistant District Attorney Jason Parrish pointed out that all of the furniture in the sitting room, including a glass of wine sitting on the table had been undisturbed in the photo.
“Doing CPR is very physically taxing,” Rackliff told jurors. He said the furniture would have been moved and out of place if Nichols had performed CPR.
Out of the presence of the jury, Judge Kerry Russell ruled that prosecutors could not offer into evidence a note that investigators had found in the Nichols' kitchen. The note, which was found in a canister, was unsigned, but in Mrs. Nichols' handwriting. The note read, “I will kill you.”
Lollar asked that the note not be admitted into evidence. “I think it would be proper to exclude this. Mr. Lollar said Mr. Nichols may take the stand in his own defense,” Russell said.