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Testimony focuses on nurse in 2009 NC shooting

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By TOM BREEN
Associated Press

CARTHAGE, NC (AP) -- Testimony in the trial of a man accused of killing eight people at a Moore County nursing home is focusing on the lone victim who was not a resident of the facility.

Co-workers and the fiancDee of Jerry Avant testified Tuesday in Carthage that the nurse had ordered a lockdown at Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center and tried to call 911 shortly before being shot on March 29, 2009. Avant died after being rushed to a nearby hospital.

Jill DeGarmo, Avant's fiancDee, says she still can't understand why it happened.

Robert Stewart's lawyers have acknowledged that he was the gunman, but say he wasn't fully responsible for his actions. They blame a mixture of depression and prescription medication for his state of mind.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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