A Columbus man accused in the 2013 homicide of Derickes Maurice Miles testified Wednesday morning that the shooting was self-defense and provoked when a third man reached for a weapon.
Shakeim Malcolm Dorsey told a Muscogee County Superior Court jury he feared for his safety and that of his girlfriend, Iesha Wiggins, and their young child when three people were banging at the door of his North Highland apartment.
Dorsey is on trial for the April 19, 2013, shooting death of Miles off Sixth Avenue, which is not far from Fox Elementary School and a former city fire station. Dorsey faces the possibility of life without parole if he is convicted in the homicide.
Dorsey took the stand in his own defense and his account of what happened was different from the witnesses who testified Tuesday.
Dorsey told the jury that there were three men at his door when he opened it, including Lacody Edmonds (who has not testified), Miles and David Wiggins, a man he had fought with moments before. David Wiggins previously testified he was not there at the time of the shooting.
“When Lacody tried to get a weapon out of his waistband, I fired two shots,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey, who answered the door with a .38 revolver in his pocket, said he felt immediately threatened.
“If they had friendly intentions, they would never have tried and pulled a gun out,” Dorsey said. “He made a statement like, ‘You know what it is.’ They didn’t come around there to talk or nothing like that.”
Michael Durfy, who owns an industrial maintenance business near where the shooting took place, testified Tuesday he heard six shots. Durfy heard the initial two gunshots and went outside to see what was happening.
“I saw a black female running, a black male running and another black male chasing,” Durfy said.
About a minute later, he heard another shot, Durfy testified. Durfy went back into his business and got his secretary into a stairwell.
He said he could see the two men running alongside his business, which is in an old fire station, and then heard three more shots about two minutes after the single shot.
When questioned by defense attorney Stacey Jackson, Dorsey, 19 at the time of the shooting and now 22, told the court he only fired two shots.
No gun was recovered by police; and Dorsey was arrested about four hours after the shooting.
Dorsey and Miles knew each other because their girlfriends were cousins, according to testimony Tuesday. Dorsey was living with Iesha Wiggins in apartment C on 3413 Sixth Ave. at the time of the shooting. The two had a child, who was less than a year old, and had been living together for about two years, Iesha Wiggins told the court. Miles’ girlfriend was Delinda Wiggins, who was Iesha Wiggins’ first cousin.
Before Dorsey testified, the state closed its case with Georgia Bureau of Investigation Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Jonathan Eisenstat and retired Columbus Police detective Vincent Samson, who was the lead homicide investigator on the case.
Eisenstat testified that Miles was shot in the back and the bullet took an upward trajectory of about 5 inches. Eisenstat removed the bullet from Miles’ chest during an autopsy. The injury was consistent with someone who was running, Eisenstat said.
The majority of Samson’s interview involved playing the video tape of Samson interviewing David Wiggins, who testified he had fought with Dorsey prior to the shooting. David Wiggins testified that Dorsey pulled a gun. Dorsey told the court he never pulled a gun during that fight.
Closing arguments could take place this afternoon in front of Senior Judge John Allen, who took the case earlier this week from Chief Superior Court Judge Gil McBride. Allen, who is retired, said McBride had a scheduling conflict.