Testimony Begins In Pizza X Delivery Driver Shooting Case

James Finney is charged with the shooting death of Adam Sarnecki in November 2011.

Bloomington Police press conference

Photo: Joe Hren/WTIU News

Bloomington Police at a press conference about the Pizza X shooting in November 2011.

The trial of the man who allegedly shot a Pizza X driver two years ago began Tuesday afternoon.

“One pizza delivery, that’s the only thing that stood in between Adam Sarnecki and going home,” prosecuting attorney Jeffrey Bradley said as he faced 12 jury members Tuesday.

Bradley was referring to November 4, 2011, the night Pizza X driver Adam Sarnecki was killed at the Bloomington South Pizza X location.

Near midnight, Sarnecki had one more delivery to make before ending his shift Thursday night. In the parking lot behind the store Sarnecki told co-worker Justin Banks he approached a man who appeared to be breaking in to his manager’s car.

According to Banks, Sarnecki said that the man shot him in the back.

Days later police arrested James Finney who had the gun used in the incident.

Finney is being charged with one felony count of murder and two misdemeanor charges of possessing a gun without a license, but Finney is pleading not guilty to murder charges, arguing he committed a lesser crime.

Defense attorney Michael Spencer opened with an account of Finney breaking into cars and running behind a storage building with Sarnecki, but said his client did not commit murder.

The prosecution plans to show video of police interviews with Finney from early on in the investigation. According to the prosecution, when police initially confronted Finney about the incident he responded, “Damn. Means he shouldn’t have gotten into somebody else’s business.”

Prosecution questioned Bloomington Police Detective Robert Shrake, who led the investigation of the case. Shrake said in the videos, Finney confessed he shot Sarnecki.

The jury will also hear this week from police officers and the doctor who performed Sarnecki’s autopsy.

Throughout the trial Circuit Judge Marc Kellams asked the jury to keep an open mind, reminding them that the strict and heavy burden lies with the prosecution to prove Finney’s guilt, not the defense to prove his innocence.

The trial will continue Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. in Monroe County.

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