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Man on trial for killing girl in Richmond park

Posted at 4:50 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 07:10:17-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The jury trial for one of three men charged with killing nine-year-old Markiyah Dickson in a Richmond park began Tuesday.

Jermaine Davis, 22, faces first-degree murder and other charges in connection to the May 2019 shooting death.

After a jury of ten women and four men were selected in the morning, opening arguments began shortly after 3 p.m.

The prosecutor, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Caitlin Kelly, called the case one of "unmitigated gun violence".

Dickson was killed and an 11-year-old boy injured when gunfire erupted near a Memorial Day weekend cookout at Carter Jones Park.

Davis was charged in the shooting along with Quinshawn Betts, 19, and Jesus Turner, 20.

Betts was sentenced in September to 68 years in prison with 46 years suspended, while Turner is set to go to trial in 2021.

Kelly, the prosecutor, told jurors the shooting happened at the basketball court and stemmed from a longstanding beef between one man who was there and a family member of one of the three men charged.

She said 23 shots were fired that day, one by the other man and 22 by the trio. She added those 22 shots were fired in the direction of the park where Dickson and the 11-year-old boy were.

Davis' attorney, Leonard McCall, told jurors that his client had no involvement in the shooting and was walking away from the basketball court when it happened.

He told jurors to pay attention during the trial to not only what evidence is presented by the prosecution, but also to what is not and said it did not expect any fingerprint or DNA evidence to be submitted.

He also told them to question the motives of the witnesses testifying on behalf of the prosecution and said they did not come to police, but only started talking once police approached them.

He also indicated that Davis would be taking to the stand in his own defense.

Day One Witnesses

After the opening remarks concluded, prosecutors called a total of six witnesses throughout the remainder of the day.

They included a VCU doctor who treated both Dickson and the 11-year-old boy, a Richmond police detective who was working off-duty security at the cookout, and a neighbor who heard the shooting and found one of the bullet shell casings the next day.

Prosecutors also called the fourth man involved in the shooting, the one who apparently fired one shot at the trio, and two other men who were at the basketball court.

Day one of the trial concluded shortly after 7 p.m.

Prosecutors indicated they had four more witnesses to call, while the defense intended to call six witnesses.

The trial will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.