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Trial Begins For Man Accused Of Killing Neighbor

POTTSVILLE — A jury in Schuylkill County heard opening statements in a murder trial Monday morning. The suspect is accused of shooting his neighbor of mor...
Schyl homicide

POTTSVILLE -- A jury in Schuylkill County heard opening statements in a murder trial Monday morning.

The suspect is accused of shooting his neighbor of more than 30 years.

The courtroom in Schuylkill County was packed for opening statements.

Ronald Kozak, 67, of Shenandoah Heights, is facing first degree murder charges for the death of his neighbor Joseph Boris.

Prosecutors say Kozak shot Boris in January all because of an ongoing dispute over a fence.

Ronald Kozak entered the Schuylkill County Courthouse in handcuffs for the first day of his trial.

State police called the homicide a neighbor dispute that went terribly wrong.

In court, we learned the almost four-year-long disagreement started because of a fence.

In opening statements, prosecutors said that on January 18, 2014, Kozak and his wife Madeline walked onto Joe and Denise Boris' property and confronted Joe Boris in the garage.

"When Denise walked into her garage, she saw Kozak on top of Joe Boris," said Schuylkill County District Attorney Christine Holman.

The D.A. says that Boris threw a brick in the direction of Kozak in frustration, and that when Kozak had a chance to walk away, he instead took out his gun and shot Boris in the chest.

The defense says that Kozak fired a shot in self-defense and that he did not intend to kill Boris.

Kozak's defense attorney said when Boris threw the brick, he hit Kozak in the head saying, "Boris went after Kozak when (Kozak) tried to get away. There was a line of blood down the driveway."

The defense claims that Kozak shot Boris in self-defense because he feared for his life and told police he did not know where he shot Boris.

The prosecution is expected to continue calling witnesses to the stand Tuesday.

If convicted of first degree murder, Ronald Kozak could spend life behind bars.