Victoria man testifies he tossed gun used in homicide

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

Aug. 9, 2013 at 3:09 a.m.
Updated Aug. 10, 2013 at 3:10 a.m.

A Victoria man told jurors Friday that he reached inside a dumpster to retrieve a .45 caliber, semi-automatic pistol not for nefarious reasons but to put some distance between whatever deed it was connected with and himself.

Hykeen Girdy intended to turn it over anonymously to a school resource officer.

So, that's where he was driving April 25, 2012, a day after a shooting left a man dead and a woman severely injured at the Regency Studio Apartment complex.

But when he noticed an unmarked police car following him, he tossed the pistol out the window. It landed in a ditch near Stayton and Nelson streets.

Girdy testified during the fourth day of the capital murder trial of Donnell Deshaun Dilworth Jr., 23, and Dedrick Roy Bonner, 19.

Prosecutors believe the duo shot Jerry Paul James, 37, because they thought he snitched on them about a robbery they committed earlier and challenged their Bloods gang status.

Attorney Jerry Clark, who represents Bonner, maintained throughout the week that James was high on cocaine when he charged at the men with a kitchen knife in each hand. Bonner feared for his life, which is why he shot James and then shot James' fiance, Allaceia Stephney, 26, who also wielded a weapon that afternoon.

In addition to transporting the pistol, Girdy spoke about the character of James and Stephney. About two months before the deadly shooting, Girdy had a fight with the couple after he, too, called James a snitch. James started it, and Stephney hit him in the face with a table leg with black electrical tape on it, he said.

"We just went our separate ways after that. ... (James) got into it with everybody at Regency," Girdy said.

Jeffrey Lehnert, a Victoria Police Department detective, testified that while it would be relevant to the case, he did not test a third kitchen knife found at the scene for fingerprints. That is the knife Clark and Lee Lewis, who represents Dilworth, suggest Stephney carried.

"It was a pure oversight on my part," Lehnert said.

Attorneys also questioned Dr. Jerry Followwill, who treated Stephney at Citizens Medical Center, and Teresa Martinez of the Victoria Police Department's Crime Scene Unit.

The state is not seeking the death penalty, but if found guilty of capital murder, Bonner and Dilworth face life in prison without parole.

They are also charged with aggravated assault for the shooting of Stephney, which is a first-degree felony.

The trial will resume at 9 a.m. Monday before Judge Robert C. Cheshire. Then, Lehnert is expected to continue testifying, and the state is expected to rest.

If the trial extends beyond Monday, it could recess for two days because Cheshire has prior commitments Tuesday and Wednesday.



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