The woman who was dating Euan Dougal when he was gunned down outside a Columbus nightclub in 2006 tearfully described the shooting Thursday during Dundell Cash’s murder trial.
Samantha Taylor was a 21-year-old dancer at the Platinum Club the morning her boyfriend was fatally shot right after she had stepped outside the business to speak to him. Because club rules prohibited dancers being out in the parking lot at closing time, a bouncer told her to go back inside.
“I told Euan ‘bye,” she testified, and then began to cry at the memory.
After telling him goodbye, she turned to go back in. “About the time I got to the door, I heard gunshots,” she recalled. That’s when the bouncer pushed her and a waitress farther into the club and locked the door.
Like other witnesses, she recalled seeing Cash standing within feet of Dougal outside right before the shooting. But also like the others, she did not see Cash shoot him, she said.
Defense attorney David Wolfe has hammered on that, telling jurors Cash was charged only because witnesses recalled his being there, not because they saw him shoot Dougal. Witnesses also have given conflicting accounts of what Cash was wearing, and differing descriptions of the shooter’s height, age and complexion.
Taylor said Cash wore a navy blue sweatshirt. Another dancer who was working that night said he wore a hefty “bomber-style” black jacket, which she found odd because it was so warm inside the nightclub. A manager who saw Cash outside the business also said he wore a jacket that was black or dark blue. Others said Cash was wearing a gray, hooded sweatshirt.
Taylor said a breezeway just outside the nightclub was well-lit, so she got a clear view of Cash that night. “I felt pretty safe going in and out of the club every night,” she said of the outdoor lighting. She was familiar with Cash because he frequented the club about once a week, she said.
The club has closed since Dougal’s fatal shooting on Nov. 10, 2006, and the dancers who worked there have moved on. Taylor said she now runs a business with her fiancé.
Witnesses recalled hearing multiple gunshots that night — their estimates ranged from four to seven — but a medical examiner testifying via Skype said Dougal had three wounds, all in his torso.
Dr. Mark Koponen said the 25-year-old had a gunshot wound to his upper abdomen, another to his lower abdomen, and a third to his right chest. The third shot penetrated his liver, causing massive bleeding, Koponen said. Dougal was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The shooting happened shortly after 3 a.m., when the club closed.
Police initially had a witness who told them he saw Cash shoot Dougal, but he denied that on the stand Wednesday.
Dennis Archer, who in 2006 was homeless and helped clean up the club for money, testified that he did not see the shooting and did not pick Cash’s picture from a six-photo police lineup, though his initials were on the document. He said he did not initial it.
Detective Barry Davis was prosecutor Chris Williams’ last witness Thursday. He recounted what Archer initially told investigators about seeing Cash shoot Dougal.
Cash left town after the shooting, and was arrested Nov. 2, 2008, in South Carolina, after a police traffic stop.
His murder trial resumes Friday in Judge Gil McBride’s Government Center courtroom.