State Rests Case in Setzer Trial; Defense Begins Arguments Today

State Rests Case in Setzer Trial; Defense Begins Arguments Today

The trial of Bradley Setzer began this week with testimony from his wife and officers involved in his arrest.

GREEN RIVER — The jury trial of a 40-year-old Green River man charged with the attempted first-degree murder of his wife begin this week in Third District Court.

Bradley Setzer is on trial for an incident that occurred on August 25, 2019, when he allegedly fired a 9mm handgun through a window on the front door of his home at his wife Jessica Setzer.

Jessica Setzer was among the key witnesses to testify this week on behalf of the state. She admitted to the court that she had a long history of methamphetamine abuse and even used methamphetamine on the day of the alleged incident.

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She testified that the couple have a volatile relationship particularly when she was using the drug and he was using alcohol.

“It was like gasoline and fire,” Jessica Setzer said about the relationship when the couple was intoxicated.

She said the couple separated from time to time but continued seeing each other and eventually reunited after Brad’s children went back to live with their mother.

August 25, 2019

Brad Setser was serving probation for a separate incident between the couple in May 2019 in which Jessica Setzer’s nose was broken. Conditions of that probation prohibited him from using alcohol or having firearms in the house.

Jessica Setzer told the court that the couple had gone to church that day, and then she went to her mother’s house to color their hair. She said the couple had been getting along well that morning, but admitted to using methamphetamine while she was at her mom’s house.

Jeannette Carroll, Jessica’s mother, testified that Brad texted and called her phone several times while Jessica was at her house. Jessica said she texted Brad asking if him if her phone and cigarettes were at their house.

Then Jessica testified that Brad texted her several times accusing her of being a horrible wife, and that she went to her mom’s house to use meth. Jessica went back to the couple’s home where a physical argument ensued, and Brad chased her down the street with a bottle jack as she was trying to drive away. She admitted to scratching and punching his face during the altercation.

Jessica then said she returned to the couple’s house with her mom to get a few things later in the day and to tell Brad she was leaving. She testified that the door was locked, and she became angry when she couldn’t get inside the house. She began pounding on the door, but Brad refused to let her in.

Jessica said that Brad made the gesture of pointing a gun at her with his thumb and index finger, then grabbed a lanyard before going upstairs. She said the lanyard had a key to a gun safe on it. Jessica testified that she could see Brad come downstairs with a hoodie, and he held it over the window that she was looking through. She could not see a gun at this time.

She then said she saw the hoodie drop and the barrel of the 9mm pointing at her face. She said in a split second she was able to duck out of the way as a shot was fired through the glass. She was not directly hit, but suffered lacerations to her face and eye from the glass.

Running For Help

Testimony was also given by the Setzers’ neighbors, Jeremy and Jessica Wilde. Both said they heard the gunshot and then saw Jessica Setzer and her mother approaching their house from across the street.

Jeremy Wilde testified that he grabbed his gun after letting the women into his house and saw the Jessica’s condition. He testified he prepared for an altercation when he saw Brad outside on the street. Wilde said he stood on the landing above his front door expecting Brad to come enter, but at that point he could no longer see Brad outside the home, and Jessica Wilde called the 911.

Brad left the neighborhood in his truck, and an “attempt to locate” him was put out by the Green River Police Department. GRPD Detective Trevor Kirkwood, the lead investigator on the case, testified that it required four officers to apprehend Setzer when they finally located him on West Teton Blvd around 7 pm. Setzer has also been charged for interference with a peace officer.

Defense Rebuttal

Defense attorney Jerry Bosch described Jessica Setzer as two different people. “Jessica” is a nice person, but “Jess,” when high on methamphetamine, “it is a very different person,” Bosch said.

He told the jury that Jessica “can give as good as she gets,” and that Brad repeatedly asked her “to go away” before the gun was discharged on August 25.

Bosch also questioned the leadership and quality of the police investigation in the aftermath of Brad Setzer’s arrest. He told Kirkwood, that he failed to gather evidence that could have helped his client’s defense. Bosch gave one example of Kirkwood’s failure to take a photo of Setzer’s viewpoint from inside the house in the daylight when the shot was fired.

Kirkwood told him that no one was permitted in the house until a search warrant was obtained. A warrant was eventually obtained and the investigation began inside the home later that evening and into the early morning hours of August 26.

State Rests

Sweetwater County Chief Deputy Attorney Teresa Thybo rested the state’s case yesterday afternoon following more testimony from the officers involved in Setzer’s arrest. One of the officers, Zachary Owens, testified that Setzer appeared intoxicated when he was arrested. Owens said he did not smell alcohol on Setzer, but that his speech was slurred and he had bloodshot eyes.

The defense began presenting its case this morning. The trial is expected to last into next week. SweetwaterNOW willl have more on this story as it develops.