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Timeline Of Gun Purchase Changes In McNair Case

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A CBS News Investigation is raising questions about how well Sahel Kazemi knew the man who sold her the murder weapon. Police have changed the day Kazemi bought the gun. 

NewsChannel 5 Investigative reporter Ben Hall has been working the story. Police said Kazemi knew the man who sold it to her much better than originally thought.

Adrian Gilliam first told police he didn't know Sahel Kazemi that well. Gilliam faces federal prison time for selling a 9 millimeter handgun to Kazemi. Police said she used the gun to kill Steve McNair then herself.

"What the motive was other than a casual exchange between two people, we can only speculate," said U.S. attorney Ed Yarbrough on July 17.

On the day Gilliam was arrested, July 17, authorities said the two did not have much of a connection.
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A CBS News Investigation revealed that Gilliam and Kazemi spoke by phone or text more than 200 times in the final weeks of Kazemi's life - including 49 texts or calls on the last day of her life.

"The number of phone calls going on between then indicates there was a greater connection between the two," said defense attorney David Raybin.

Raybin said it would not surprise him if Kazemi bought the gun from someone she knew, and it did not surprise him that Gilliam would initially lie to police about knowing Kazemi.

"He's not going to admit to greater knowledge of her because she just killed Steve McNair," said Raybin.

Gilliam called Kazemi at 12:02 a.m. and talked for three minutes, and that was just about two hours before police said she killed McNair.

Police used what Gilliam told them to help construct the initial timeline of events. He told them he sold Kazemi the gun on Thursday, July 2, but that was wrong. Police now said he sold the gun a day later.

The CBS News investigation raises questions about whether police were too quick to rely on the word of someone with a long criminal history including convictions for second degree murder and aggravated assault.

In the 14 page police summary of their investigation police said Gilliam admitted he came to know Kazemi in the weeks prior to selling the gun.
Case Summary of Steve McNair and Sahel Kazemi (.pdf)

"This is a girl that I know for a fact can not watch a scary movie. I mean for her to do something like that is just way beyond my imagination," said Kazemi's ex-boyfriend Keith Norfleet.

Norfleet doubts she could have used a gun to shoot McNair four times and then kill herself.

Police said they know all about the phone calls between Gilliam and Kazemi, but the bottom line is it does not change that it was a murder suicide.

"I'm confident this case was investigated from one end to the other top to bottom left to right," said Raybin.

Police said they've learned new information, but that information does not change the result of the investigation. They aren't saying much more right now because the Gilliam case is still open.

Adrian Gilliam will be sentenced in December. He faces up to ten years in prison because he owned a handgun despite having a felony record.

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