Prosecutors presented a parade of witnesses Wednesday in the murder trial of Sacorey McKelvey as they showed jurors photos of the crime scene police were called to on April 24, 2014, the day Corey Owens was gunned down in his Chevrolet Suburban.
Among the witnesses was Sgt. David Jury, a police crime-scene technician who collected evidence at the shooting near Adair Avenue and Wynnton Road.
His testimony revealed previous news reports were off the mark in stating where the shooting occurred, but not by much. They said Owens was shot when he came to a stop sign on Adair Avenue at Wynnton Road. Jury’s photographs showed Owens’ white SUV actually was south of there, at a stop sign at the foot of a hill below Rivers Homes, 1050 Adair Avenue.
Witnesses told police Owens had just left the apartments atop the hill, en route to pick up his 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter. Leaving Rivers Homes via its driveway, he had driven downhill to the stop sign at Adair, where he was shot around 2 p.m.. He had not turned north on Adair toward the stop sign at Wynnton Road.
Jury testified that when he arrived on the scene, he had to rush to put clear packing tape on the driver’s side window of Owens’ suburban, because glass broken by a bullet hole was falling out. He needed to secure the remaining glass to try to gauge the bullet’s trajectory, he said.
He found three more bullet holes in the vehicle and collected three shell casings at the scene, he said. Later he was summoned to Debby Street to photograph a black Pontiac Grand Am, in which he found a construction company paycheck in an envelope addressed to McKelvey.
McKelvey worked in construction, and was furious that he’d lost a job when an employer learned he’d been convicted of making terroristic threats in 2009, giving him a felony record, investigators said. The victims in that case were associated with Owens and his family.
Two days before Owens’ shooting, McKelvey came to the Adair Avenue apartments with a gun, threatening Owens and his brothers, and claiming they owed him money or drugs as compensation for his job loss.
Testifying Tuesday, Owens’ brother Gregory Owens said McKelvey told the family, “You’re the reason I’m locked up.” Gregory Owens said he charged at McKelvey and tackled him, knocking him to the ground. Others joined in, beating McKelvey and taking his gun away, the brother said.
McKelvey fled. “As he was running away, he said he was going to kill all of us,” Gregory Owens testified.
Relatives later told police McKelvey began stalking them. Investigators allege he lay in wait for Corey Owens, ambushing the 29-year-old on the Thursday after his Tuesday confrontation with the brothers.
Owens died at the hospital the following Friday, with a bullet in his head, authorities said.
Moving from place to place, McKelvey remained on the loose for more than a month.
Called to the witness stand Wednesday, police Sgt. Lance Deaton recalled the day officers finally tracked McKelvey down.
On the afternoon of June 5, 2014, police got a tip that McKelvey was in an apartment at 4006 Sixth Ave., so they sent in a SWAT team to raid the residence, but found no suspect, Deaton said.
The sergeant said he had just returned to police headquarters when around 8 p.m. he got a second tip that McKelvey was at 4005 Oates Avenue. Checking the location, he saw it was the residence immediately behind the one police had just searched.
According to Deaton’s informant, McKelvey was going to try to leave the home while wearing a wig, and get into a burgundy truck, the detective said. Police were en route when they heard the truck already was on the move, he said.
Police stopped the truck, but McKelvey wasn’t in it. The driver told them the suspect still was in the home on Oates Avenue.
Deaton said officers knocked on the door, and a man matching McKelvey’s description opened it. He told them his name was Michael Turner, and he was 17. The date of birth he gave didn’t match that age, Deaton said.
Police were escorting the suspect to a patrol car when neighbors started calling out “Corey,” and McKelvey then admitted his true identity, Deaton said.
The trial resumes Thursday morning in Judge Gil McBride’s Government Center courtroom. McKelvey, 25, faces charges of murder, aggravated assault and using a firearm to commit a crime. If convicted, he faces life in prison.