RICHMOND, Va. — Prosecutors will resume their case Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of being involved in a Memorial Day 2019 shootout that left a nine-year-old girl dead and injured two other people.
This is the second day of a two-day trial for Jesus Turner. He faces first-degree murder and several other charges for his alleged role.
Prosecutors alleged that back on Memorial Day 2019 at Carter Jones Park on the city’s south side, there was a large number of people for an annual cookout. They added that near the end of the night, the three men showed up at the basketball courts and got into a shootout with another man already there.
Prosecutors said that Turner and the other man had longstanding issues, but never clarified what those issues were.
After a half day of jury selection, day one of the trial featured opening statements and five witnesses for the prosecution.
Turner’s defense attorney told the 12 jurors to question the reliability of the prosecution’s witnesses, and note how their testimony may differ compared with their statements in the previous trial.
He also claimed that during the investigation, no one attested to his client either being at the park or holding a gun.
The prosecution called five witnesses to the stand on day one — all people who were either at or near the park when the shooting happened.
The second witness was the other man that the three accused were involved in the alleged shootout with.
He was uncooperative throughout his time on the stand. At first, he refused to answer question from the prosecutor before stating he’d already told his story twice before in the previous two trials.
“I got nothing else to say,” the man said. “I’m done with it.”
At one point the judge told the witnesses he could be found in contempt of court and told him that while he had testified twice before — the jury in this trial had not heard his testimony.
The prosecution was able to finish his testimony predominantly by referring to his previous testimony.
The defense protested several times during his testimony and did not cross-examine the witness, but mentioned near the end of his time on the stand impeaching the witness and discrediting his testimony.
Another witness that took the stand was another person on the basketball court at the time of the shooting.
He described seeing the three men approach the court and said he saw Turner “clutching” and implied that it meant he was holding a gun in his waistband.
But on cross-examination, he admitted he never saw Turner holding a gun. The defense attorney also pointed out that in the previous trial for Davis — he said it was Davis who was “clutching”.
Prosecutors said that they intend to call six witnesses on day two to finish their case before turning things over to the defense.
The closing arguments on Wednesday afternoon have been boiled down by both sides into whether or not jurors should believe the testimony of the prosecution's witnesses who were there that night.
The defense is trying to say that some of them change their testimony in between this and previous trials or, in the case of the other man involved in the shootout, were uncooperative and never identified Turner as either being at the park or shooting a gun.
The prosecution admitted their witnesses weren't ideal and that Dixon deserved witnesses with perfect vision and vantage points, but that's not what they have to work with.