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Shaver found not guilty of shooting

Sunday, April 11, 2010 – Billy Joe Shaver was found not guilty Friday in the shooting of a man outside a bar in Texas in 2007.

A jury reached a verdict after two hours of deliberation in the case involving Shaver and the man he allegedly shot, Billy Coker.

After the verdict was read, Shaver hugged supports, including band members. During the trial, Willie Nelson showed up for the last two days of testimony of the four-day trial. Nelson left before the verdict was read.

"I knew in my heart we would win," Shaver said outside the courthouse. As for Coker, 53, Shaver, 70, said, "I am very sorry about the incident. Hopefully things will work out where we become friends."

Shaver testified in his own defense saying he feared for his life when he shot Coker in the upper lip in the patio of a bar in Lorena with a 22-caliber pistol. Shaver said Coker showed a knife inside the bar and asked him to go outside. "I wanted to scare him ... wanted to beat him to the punch. I feared he was going to kill me," Shaver said.

The prosecutor asked Shaver if he was jealous because Coker was talking with his wife, Wanda. "I get more women than a passenger train can haul. I'm not jealous," Shaver said.

A witness, Daniel Silvas, said he thought Shaver was trying to "get away" before shooting.

"I couldn't fight him, no way, he was built like a doggone fireplug. He's younger than I was," Shaver said.

Shaver said that when Coker realized Wanda Shaver had been married to Coker's cousin, "he went bad real quick." The ex-husband committed suicide. Bad feelings existed between Wanda Shaver and Coker's side of the family.

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CD reviews for Billy Joe Shaver

Long in the Tooth CD review - Long in the Tooth
Billy Joe Shaver does a lot of looking back on life and the travails of love on his first release since 2008's "Everybody's Brother." That's understandable given the rough-and-tumble life of Shaver, who lived up to the outlaw country moniker of his music. Shaver continues in the long line of ace Texas singer/songwriter types like Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. Shaver puts his cards on the table on the opening "Hard to Be an Outlaw." With help from Willie »»»
Live at Billy Bob's Texas CD review - Live at Billy Bob's Texas
Waylon and Willie and Johnny and Kris may have lit the fire of public awareness, but those in the know will likely attest to the fact that when the so-called outlaw country movement first took flight, it was Billy Joe Shaver who helped lead the charge. His album "Old Five and Dimers" remains an undisputed classic of the genre, the perfect prototype when it comes to hard-bitten narratives with a rowdy, rambunctious appeal. Likewise, no one questioned his credibility when he unabashedly »»»
Everybody's Brother CD review - Everybody's Brother
There's often a fine line between sin and salvation and, like most outlaws, Billy Joe Shaver has one foot in the honky tonk and one in the church pew. Shaver has long expressed the desire to record a "gospel" album and it's fitting...the same weathered voice that speaks convincingly of barrooms and broken hearts is also perfectly suited for singing the praises of Jesus. And it's not like religion is a little-traveled path for Shaver; he has typically included a spiritual »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: With or without band, Isbell satisfies – Usually, when an artist performs without his regular backing band, it becomes about mathematics of subtraction. That artist is armed with far fewer artistic weapons at his/her disposal, after all. In Jason Isbell's case, though, when he performed with just his wife and fiddler Amanda Shires, it was more about substitution than subtraction.... »»»
Concert Review: Grammy nominations aside, Yola, Kiah are the real deal – Grammy nominations do not make the artist, but Yola and opener Amythyst Kiah underscored time and again on this night that the honors were well deserved. In fact, Yola and Kiah's other group, Our Native Daughters, are nominated in the same category - Best American Roots. Yola has three other nominations as well. The clear winners... »»»
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