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Trial Begins for Fresno Paralegal Charged with Murder, Chopping up Man's Body

Brian Waldron is accused of killing a man, dismembering his body and burying it in a shallow grave

A murder trail is underway against a former Fresno paralegal accused of killing a man, chopping up his body, and burying him in a shallow grave in the mountains about two hours from Fresno.  Tuesday, 55 year old Brian Waldron stood in front of a jury.  The details of this case are pretty much undisputed. No one is denying he killed 21 year old Jonathan Taylor and dismembered his body, but what's in question is if it was murder or self defense.

The taped confession played out inside the courtroom.

Brian Waldron said, "I cut off his head, I cut off his arms, I cut off his feet, I cut off his legs."

Jurors listened to the gruesome details, as 55 year old Brian Waldron admitted to killing 21 year Jonathan Taylor, chopping up his body with a kitchen knife and hack saw, and then burying him in the Fresno foothills.

The prosecution is trying to prove Waldron murdered Taylor in cold blood, but the defense says it was all in self defense.

Waldron's attorney, Jim Lambe says, "He finds himself being attacked in his own living room."

The incident happened in 2008.  Waldron claims Taylor was a bulldog gang member who walked into his apartment uninvited.  He says they started fighting, and says Taylor tried to hit him over the head with a metal flashlight, but instead Waldron grabbed the flashlight.

Prosecutor Robert Romanacce says, "The defendant beat him to death with a pipe or tire iron.  I'm not sure."

Legal analyst Carl Faller says self defense might be difficult to prove, considering Waldron cut up and buried Taylor's body, before calling police.  Waldron, a former paralegal for Fresno defense attorney David Mugridge, claims his acts were only due to fear of retaliation from other bulldog gang members.

Legal analyst Carl Faller says, "In this kind of situation where steps are taken to cover up the even, that can raise grave questions in the minds of the jurors."


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