Father of Franklin County murder suspect recounts deadly shooting

Local News

Silent and stone-faced, Ethan Gratton showed little emotion on the first day of his trial for murder and attempted murder.

Gratton is charged with killing David Hill and seriously wounding Mark Brito in January 2017. 

Prosecutors say Hill and Brito were loading a skidder onto a logging truck in front of the driveway of Gratton’s Georgia home when the three men began arguing.

Gratton admits to shooting the two men, but claims it was self defense.

The state called more than a half-dozen witnesses to testify Wednesday, including Gratton’s father, Jeff, who described coming out of the house and seeing the victims bodies.

“I saw a tractor trailer truck in there with two lumps lying on the ground. One to the left and one two the right,” said Jeff Gratton. .

He said he determined Hill was already dead. Brito, despite what Jeff Gratton called a “massive” head  wound was still alive.

He testified that he borrowed a phone to call his son, who he says was no longer outside.

“He shot the guys and he was punched by the guys and they broke his nose and he was in the bathroom trying to straighten it out when I called him,” he said.

The trial is expected to last through next week.

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