Ex-girlfriend of defendant testifies in shooting trial
Aug. 8, 2013 at 3:08 a.m.
Updated Aug. 9, 2013 at 3:09 a.m.
The former girlfriend of a Victoria man charged with capital murder explained to a jury what his and his best friend's mindset may have been before and after a 2012 shooting at an apartment complex.
Georgina Morales testified Thursday that she drove the two defendants - her former boyfriend Donnell Deshaun Dilworth Jr., 23, and Dedrick Roy Bonner, 19, - in a white, four-door car to and from the scene of a fatal shooting April 24, 2012.
The men are charged with shooting Jerry Paul James, 37, in the head and his fiance, Allaceia Stephney, 26, in the lower left leg at the Regency Studio Apartment complex.
Stephen Tyler, the criminal district attorney, alleges this happened after the duo thought James snitched on them about an unreported robbery they committed at the same complex previously.
They were also offended James called them fake Blood gang members, he said.
Before the shooting, Morales drove around Victoria for a few hours with Dilworth and Bonner. Part of that time, they answered text messages and phone calls about a fight with James. It seemed at first the fight was off, but Bonner told a somewhat reluctant Dilworth to confront James anyway, Morales said.
That's why the three abruptly turned around near Howell Middle School to return to the complex nearby.
Morales, who lives in Victoria, parked the car but left the engine running. When she heard the shots, she turned and saw James and Stephney were already on the ground.
Bonner and Dilworth then got back in the car, Morales said.
"He (Bonner) was teary eyed. He said he just reacted too fast because of Bay City (James) came at him with knives. ... He said he shot Lacy (Stephney) because she had a pipe," Morales said.
Dilworth shakily took Morales' phone to make calls but was sidetracked when text messages led him to wonder whether she was cheating on him with his cousin, she said.
"And that's the most important issue to him after two people are shot, one shot dead?" Tyler asked.
But after questioning from attorneys Jerry Clark and Lee Lewis, who represent Bonner and Dilworth, respectively, she admitted the men seemed remorseful and shocked. She admitted their actions did not seem planned because they waved her over after the shooting to come pick them up.
"Does that indicate to you that they went there with the sole purpose of executing this man because he was a snitch? That doesn't make any sense does it?" Clark asked.
Clark was also interested in the distance between the two parties during the shooting. Clark maintained in his opening statement that Bonner acted in self-defense after James, under the influence of cocaine, charged at him with kitchen knives. Stephney was also armed.
Tyler argued a bullet would cover that distance faster than a butter knife. He suggested the gun, which was concealed in Bonner's red shorts at first, may have been noticeable.
The state also called Andrew Rokovich, James' former boss; Jennifer Preslar, a surgical nurse at Citizens Medical Center; Stephen Lang, a Victoria police officer; Ryan Mudd of the Texas Department of Public Safety's Austin crime lab; Travis Stillwell, a Victoria police department detective; and Teresa Martinez, of the Victoria Police Department's crime scene unit.
Martinez and her coworkers collected four bullets and 11 shell casings from the scene.
Dilworth and Bonner are also charged with aggravated assault for the shooting of Stephney.
In this case, aggravated assault is a first-degree felony.
Tyler is not seeking the death penalty in the capital murder charge.
The trial will resume at 9 a.m. Friday before Judge Robert C. Cheshire. Defense attorneys are expected to cross examine Martinez then.