The most anticipated testimony was that of Dr. Van Sandt. Van Sandt’s attorney asked a series of questions that allowed the doctor to describe his educational achievements, the courtship of his wife, and the quiet, loving home he, Grace, and their daughters had had before Grover entered the picture. He ran through the various events that had revealed his wife’s infidelities.
He described his effort to discuss the matter with Grover. According to Van Sandt, Jackson had told him, “I’ll fight you with fists, clubs, knives, or guns! I’ll kill you!”
On the fatal day when Grover and James encountered each other in Carbon, Van Sandt testified that Jackson had accosted him as he was walking down the street. After exchanging a few words with Jackson, the doctor said he continued to walk down the street with Jackson shouting curses and insults.
Van Sandt said he turned around and returned to Jackson. He demanded that Jackson stop referring to his recently deceased mother. At that point, the doctor said, Jackson sprang at him, and the two men scuffled.
Jackson broke loose and, Van Sandt claimed, reached into his overcoat pocket as if to draw a gun. James then drew his own revolver and fired two quick shots without aiming. One shot hit Grover in the side and the other in the groin.
Upon the conclusion of the testimony and cross-examination of all witnesses, the jury probably determined that the following had transpired on the day of the shooting:
Grover Jackson was walking alone down the street when he saw Dr. Van Sandt and Oscar Loveall and greeted them in a civil but sarcastic way. Thomas Jackson was in the pool hall. Van Sandt told Grover not to speak to him, which led Grover to spew out abuse at the doctor.
Oscar and James walked away while Grover continued to shout insults. Van Sandt was less than 100 feet away from Grover when Grover said something nasty about James’s mother, and James came back to Grover and told him to “take that back.” Oscar did not turn around; he continued to walk into the meat market.
At this point, Grover and James were in front of the blacksmith’s shop, and they lunged at each other simultaneously. The fight, which consisted of grappling with rather than punching each other, moved into the blacksmith’s shop. Grover broke free, and James pulled out his gun and shot Grover twice. This was the first time a gun made an appearance in the ruckus—James had not pulled it halfway out of his pocket while they were in the street. Grover did not have a gun and did not pretend to have one.