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6 WITNESSES TESTIFY THEY SAW WOODLAND SHOOT CONTRACTOR

SHARE 6 WITNESSES TESTIFY THEY SAW WOODLAND SHOOT CONTRACTOR

Eugene Woodland's attorney said his client will testify that he wasn't there in 1990 when Bruce Larson was shot five times and killed.

But six witnesses testified Wednesday they saw Woodland pull the trigger.Matthew Hawkes was doing carpentry work on March 28, 1990, inside the building that Woodland once owned but lost in bankruptcy proceedings. He said Woodland, also known as Captain Nemo, approached him and started asking questions about what they were doing with the building.

Woodland was dressed all in black, with cowboy hat and boots.

Hawkes told him they were renovating the building into the new Palladium, a country-western nightclub. He said Woodland left, then returned 15 minutes later and asked where the contractor, Bruce Larson, was.

Woodland walked up a stairway to a balcony in the building at 4050 S. 900 East and walked up to Larson, the witnesses said.

"He (Woodland) said, `What the f--- are you doing with my building?' and then he shot him," Jim Jones Jr. testified.

Jones said he heard five or six shots ring out. "I noticed Bruce fall and I watched him (Woodland) continually pull the trigger as he was going down," he said.

David Paul Jones said he followed Woodland as Woodland walked out of the building. "I started picking things up and throwing them at him," he said.

"Several times, he turned around and told me to stay back, that he had a gun," David Jones said. "One time he told me to stay back or he'd shoot me."

Glenn Fisk joined David Jones and both said they continued to follow Woodland, never losing sight of him, until he walked into the parking lot of a nearby apartment complex. "Glenn turned to me and said, `Let's jump him,' " Jones said.

The men said they tackled Woodland from behind and then heard another shot. Fisk had been shot through the hand. David Jones said he grabbed the gun from Woodland and tossed it aside as Salt Lake County deputy sheriffs arrived.

Jim Jones said he watched David Jones throw a two-by-four board at Woodland as Woodland was leaving the building, then said he turned back to check on Larson, who was lying on his side in a pool of blood.

Woodland, known as Captain Nemo because he sometimes acted and dressed like the character from the Jules Verne novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," faces charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

Since his arrest four years ago, he has fought for the opportunity to stand trial and prove he is innocent. He spent much of those years in the Utah State Hospital because he was ruled mentally ill and incompetent to stand trial. He won a fight to prevent the hospital from forcibly medicating him and eventually was declared competent to stand trial.

Unlike previous court hearings, the sometimes eccentric Woodland remained calm and quiet at the defense table during the first two days of trial. The 65-year-old was dressed in a suit and has been wearing dark sunglasses.