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Park slaying trial continues

LAWRENCEVILLE - The murder trial of Charles Martin Coats, accused of knifing a man to death in a Gwinnett park in 2007, entered its second day of testimony Thursday.

Prosecuting attorneys believe Coats, who had several confrontations with William Scott Carr at Yellow River Park over a span of several years due to Carr running with two unleashed dogs, overreacted during a deadly Jan. 3, 2007, encounter at the park in which the men fought and Coats allegedly stabbed Carr in the neck.

In opening arguments, Assistant District Attorney David Keeton said Coats, 57, overreacted after Carr's unleashed dogs caused him to fall. In a resulting dispute, Coats allegedly stabbed Carr, 50, in the neck, causing massive blood loss. He died later that day at Emory Eastside in Snellville.

Coats' attorney, Brian Steel, said Carr threatened to kill Coats in the final confrontation and Coats was acting out of self defense.

Jurors - four women and 11 men - on Thursday reviewed several crime scene photos and heard testimony from a 911 dispatcher.

The trial will continue at 9 a.m. today in Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Tom Davis' courtroom.