Driver: Fatal Shot Sounded Like Balloon Popping

A key prosecution witness in the Ohio Highway Shooter jury trial Friday gave jurors a first person account of a killing on Interstate 270 in Columbus.

Defendant Charles McCoy Junior faces a possible death sentence if convicted of the killing.

Mary Cox of suburban Columbus says she was driving her best friend, Gail Knisley to a doctor’s appointment in November 2003 when they heard a loud sound. “It sounded like a baloon popping. (Gail) said to me ‘What was that?’ and as she said that she fell towards me.”

The jury listened attentively to Cox’s testimony as the witness wiped tears occasionally as she recalled events of that day.

Prosecutor O’Brien also played the 9-1-1 tape with Cox’s voice trembling as she realized what had happened.

Also entered as evidence: a leather coat Cox was wearing on the day of the crime. The coat apparently shows a crease in the right arm where a bullet grazed Cox before it fatally struck Gail Knisley.

Defendant Charles McCoy could get the death penalty if convicted of Knisley’s killing. He faces charges in a string of twelve shootings in Central Ohio on or near interstate highways in four counties.

He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

In earlier testimony Friday the jury heard from Michael Thomas. His car was hit by a bullet in January of 2004 while he was driving northbound on Interstate 71. Thomas said he was driving home from work when the bullet struck the hood of his car. He says he put the petal to the metal and “pretty much just got out of there.”

More prosecution testimony is scheduled on Monday.

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