Attempted murder or defense? Trial to decide Bay City man's motive in July 4 shooting

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TUSCOLA COUNTY (WJRT) (8/14/2019) - Prosecutors and defense attorneys have a very different perception of the July 4 shooting in Tuscola County that left a Vassar Township man without a right ear.

Trevor Payne will stand trial on eight charges, including attempted murder, for the July 4 shooting of Trevor Betzing. Payne claims the shooting was in defense of Betzing's wife.

Prosecutors believe 21-year-old Trevor Payne committed attempted murder by vastly exceeding the force needed to end an alleged domestic violence situation.

However, Payne's defense attorneys say he was acting in defense of Trevor Betzing's wife, who he allegedly was assaulting violently at their home.

A jury will have to decide the case after a Tuscola County judge sent the case to trial after a preliminary hearing in Caro on Wednesday.

Betzing was still wearing the bandages from the gunshot wound that he got in the ear when he testified during the hearing.

"The last thing I remember is the pain in the ear from being shot," he said. "I lost my right ear. I lost all hearing in my right ear, significant damage to my equillibrium."

Payne's attorney, Jason Gower, said his client was trying to help Betzing's wife, who Gower said Betzig was assaulting during a domestic dispute. Police were originally called to the home because of a domestic dispute.

While police were on the way to the home in Vassar Township is when Payne got a gun from his car and shot Betzing. Payne faces a host of charges, including attempted murder.

Gower believes this is a case of self defense of others. Betzing's wife testified her husband had grabbed her and then she heard a noise.

"The gunshot," she said.

Betzing's wife said he stumbled around for a minute after the shooting and then fell over backwards.

"I ran over to him. 'Babe, baby, babe,' you know. I'm freaking out, thinking he got shot between the eyes and he is dying and who knows," she testified.

After the testimony, visiting Judge Kenneth Schmidt bound Payne over to Tuscola County Circuit Court to stand trial.on the eight charges. Payne, who could face life in prison if convicted, remains free on bond.