When the men showed up with guns and bear spray at the Frederickson mobile home, there was no way it was going to end well, Pierce County deputy prosecutor Lisa Wagner told jurors Wednesday.
Now that jury must decide whether the fatal shooting that followed was lawful self-defense.
"If there's an example of a perfect storm, this is it," Wagner said in her closing argument.
She told jurors they should find Justin Jennings guilty of second-degree murder for 50-year-old Christopher Burton's death, which she said happened after an argument about a missing vehicle escalated on May 6, 2017.
Defense attorney Bryan Hershman argued jurors should acquit 40-year-old Jennings, who he said believed Burton was armed, and fired as Burton was advancing toward him.
Jurors were set to begin deliberations Thursday (June 14).
Jennings had been to the mobile home in the 15800 block of 82nd Avenue East many times, and went there with a friend the day of the shooting.
Wagner argued the men planned to intimidate the occupants of the mobile home into revealing where the friend's missing car was.
Hershman said there was no motive for murder.
"There's no beef in this case," the attorney argued. "My client was friendly with everyone in that house. At least, as friendly as you can be when you're tip-toeing through a minefield."
He described the mobile home as a "den of iniquity," which he said was the site of drug deals and prostitution.
Burton didn't live at the home, but was there with a friend when Jennings and his friend showed up and asked about the missing car.
Burton and Jennings' friend ended up in a fight, and as they were wrestling, Jennings used the bear spray.
That stopped the fight, Hershman said, but then Burton started walking toward Jennings.
That's when Jennings, who Hershman said believed Burton was armed, fired to protect himself.
Wagner argued that Jennings chose to bring a loaded gun to the home to use in a show of force.
She said Burton had been at the mobile home only two or three times.
"Sometimes you're in the wrong place at the wrong time," Wagner said. "And for Christopher Burton, that's exactly what happened."