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Trial begins for woman accused of killing her brother

Vicky Clarke is charged with second degree murder and felony use of a firearm after the Bedford County Sheriff's Office said she shot her brother, claiming he was tearing up their private road with his tractor (Blue Ridge Regional Jail)

BEDFORD Co., Va. (WSET) -- Day one of a trial for a Bedford County woman accused of killing her own brother wrapped up around 5 p.m. Tuesday in Bedford Circuit Court.

Vicky Clarke is charged with second degree murder and felony use of a firearm after the Bedford County Sheriff's Office said she shot her brother, claiming he was tearing up their private road with his tractor.

Clark pleaded not guilty to both her charges and her attorney is arguing self defense.

Four witnesses took the stand Tuesday, including a paramedic who was there the night it happened.

Evidence included pictures of the victimand shots of the street where the defendant and her brother lived in Vinton.

In October 2015, the sheriff's office said Clarke's husband called 911 in the early morning hours claiming that Paul Thomas, Vicky Clarke's brother, was tearing up the private road.

Both lived on Green Mountain Road.

Deputies came to check things out, but later left.

John Clarke called 911 a second time that night saying Thomas was still tearing up their property with a tractor and it went on for about an hour and a half.

As deputies responded for the second call, Clarke called 911 a third time saying his wife shot Thomas.

The defense argued in court that Vicky Clarke acted in self defense and that Thomas was coming after her, but the prosecution said Clarke meant to kill her brother and picked the time and place.

"Malice is the state of mind that results in the intentional doing of a wrongful act with no legal excuse of justification," said Stacey Gardner, the Assistant Bedford County Commonwealth's Attorney.

"He's running towards the door, what else was she to do in that moment," argued the Defense Attorney, Emily Sitzler.

The trial will continue to at least Wednesday.

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