Trial begins for 2004 Illinois poker-game murder

The trial of 40-year-old Anson Paape began this week for the shooting death of Michael Murray in 2004 during a combination game of poker and Russian roulette. The 18-year-old and his friends were at Paape's home celebrating Murray's birthday when the incident occurred.

Paape is being charged with first-degree murder for the shooting. He had provided the handgun and talked the teens into playing the combination of poker and roulette.

The poker game included a dare at the end of each hand. One of the teens present at the game testified that Paape's rule was that the loser of each hand would face the gun with someone else pulling the trigger.

Paape changed the rule after Murray won the first hand. The new rule was that the person to the right of the loser would have to face the gun, which turned out to be Murray.

John Dominick, 19, testified that he had lost the hand, and Murray was sitting to his right. Paape then pointed the gun, which he'd loaded with one bullet earlier, at Murray's head.

According to Domonick, Murray grabbed at the gun first, but Paape wouldn't give it up. He said it was his gun and his house, and he would be the one to pull the trigger.

Paape's defense attorney told the court that Paape never intended to harm Murray, but admitted that he acted recklessly and irresponsibly. He argued that Paape was drunk and thought the .44 caliber handgun was empty at the time.

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