Jury continues to deliberate in trial for two men accused of killing innocent Richmond teen

Posted at 10:42 AM, Jun 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-21 18:27:49-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Jury deliberations resumed Wednesday morning in the trial of two men charged in a shootout that left an innocent 15-year-old girl dead.

The jury deliberated for about one-and-a-half hours before being sent home for the night on Tuesday.

They are debating if Tyree Coley, 21, and Savonne Henderson, 24, are guilty in a September 12, 2022 shooting near Gilpin Court that killed Tynashia Humphrey.

Three other men are also charged.

Both men face charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, shooting in a public place and shooting from a vehicle.

Both men pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The trial, initially scheduled for three days, lasted for four days and saw 19 witnesses called by the prosecution — one was recalled to testify again.

Prosecutors have alleged Coley had an ongoing beef with another man and, on the day of the shooting, he and four others went to Gilpin and conducted a drive-by shooting. They said Henderson drove one of the cars and Coley was a shooter in that same car.

They alleged the other suspects took part because they were either in a gang with Coley named “30 Boyz” or associated with it, like Henderson.

Prosecutors said while the person they were shooting at did return fire, they claim it was one of the suspects’ bullets fired from one of three guns that killed Humphrey who was running away from the cars at the time.

And — while no eyewitnesses placed any suspect at the scene of the shooting — prosecutors said they proved it through tracking data of cellphones belonging to the suspects and by corroborating it with surveillance video before, during and after the shooting.

The defense counsels for the accused have argued the whole case was a rush to judgment by investigators and raised questions about failure to secure some evidence and not removing the possibility that the other shooter was responsible for Humphrey’s death, as no bullet was recovered from her body.

They also disputed prosecutors provided enough or any proof to tie the cellphones to their clients. Additionally, they raised concerns on the approximate nature of cellphone data tracking, and that during the time of the alleged crime there was no video evidence showing their clients in the suspect cars.

The defense argued this was prosecutors trying to "fit a square peg into a round hole" and asked for a full acquittal, while prosecutors said they had proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt and asked for guilty verdicts on all charges.

The jury had one question Tuesday night and asked about a jury instruction on concert of action if they were to consider the actions of all five suspects or just the two on trial. The court said they had already received all the jury instructions.

A second question was asked around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The jury said they only had two phones in evidence — belonging to Coley and Mitchell Hudson, another of the accused.

The prosecutors said those two phones were submitted into evidence together, but there was a phone attributed to Henderson submitted separately. The judge told jurors to review the evidence numbers associated with those phones, but did not say anything about which phone is alleged to be associated with whom.

Deliberations resumed shortly before 10 a.m.

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