The fifth codefendant charged in the 2013 fatal shooting of David Scott took the witness stand Monday to testify for the prosecution.
Jayln Dixon’s testimony revealed more details of the five suspects’ misguided scheme to rob a "gambling house" on Sept. 19, 2013, when they instead blocked a car Scott was driving at Seventh Street and Coolidge Avenue, and opened fire as Scott tried to back away.
The white Chevy Impala that Scott had borrowed belonged to a cousin who was known to gamble and carry thousands in cash on him. The gunmen confronted Scott, thinking he was the cousin, and Scott backed the Impala into a tree as he tried to get away.
The suspects fired nearly 30 shots at the car, police said. One hit Scott in the forehead, and he died later at the hospital. A friend in the passenger’s seat was uninjured.
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That friend fared better than one of the gunmen, who was wounded in the barrage.
In exchange for his testimony, Dixon has pleaded guilty to reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter, robbery, two counts of aggravated assault and a weapons violation.
His codefendants on trial for murder are Donald Rydell Fair, Christopher Deshawn Pender, Tyrecquiss Shaewaun "Shae-Shae" Wells, and Christopher Don Whitaker.
Previous testimony from investigators showed four separate guns were fired at Scott, two of them 9mm pistols, one a .45-caliber handgun and the other a .223-caliber rifle that Dixon described as an AR-15.
On Monday, Dixon told the court who had which gun:
He said he was unarmed as he drove the stolen Ford F-150 pickup truck they were using. Armed with a 9mm with an extended clip, Wells sat beside him on the passenger’s side. Whitaker, armed with the other 9mm, sat behind the driver’s seat, he said, and Pender with the .45-caliber sat behind Wells.
Fair was in the truck bed with the AR-15, Dixon said.
He said Wells had the idea of robbing the gambling house and was giving him directions as he drove. When Wells saw the Impala stopped at a stop sign, he yelled for Dixon to stop, then got out and ran toward Scott.
Besides pointing a pistol, Wells was wearing a black ski mask, Dixon said. When Scott put the Impala in reverse, Wells started shooting, followed by Pender, then Whitaker, and then Fair, the witness said.
Dixon could not recall how many rounds they fired. "It was a lot," he said.
Whitaker, firing the 9mm as he leaned out of the truck, shot Pender in the upper thigh, Dixon said. Pender fell to the ground, so they picked him up, put him back in the truck and sped away.
Police later would be summoned to St. Francis Hospital to question Pender, who made up another story about how he was wounded.
Scott’s shooting about 10:30 p.m. was the second that day involving Dixon, Pender, Wells and Whitaker. About 8 p.m., Dixon, Pender and Wells had tried to rob a marijuana dealer on Baltic Court, after Whitaker called and set the dealer up for the crime.
In that incident, Wells drove the stolen pickup while Dixon and Pender tried to rob the dealer, who was wounded as he sped away. Dixon that time had the AR-15, he said.
Dixon fell out of the pickup as Wells raced away, leaving abrasions on his abdomen.
The other defendants’ attorneys hammered Dixon on cross-examination, pointing out that he repeatedly lied in his recorded interviews with police.
Dixon denied his involvement in the drug dealer’s robbery until detectives discovered his scraped-up belly. Then he claimed Pender fired the first shots, when in fact he did. He said he had nothing to do with Scott’s homicide, and said someone nicknamed "Boobie" was. On the witness stand he admitted making that name up.
In his police interviews, he denied even touching the stolen pickup. And having been on parole for burglary, he denied owning guns, which would have been illegal for a convicted felon.
Under cross-examination by Wells’ attorney Richard Hagler, Dixon admitted he owned several guns and regularly bought and sold them. He took photos of some with his cell phone, one picture showing two 9mm pistols, two .38-caliber revolvers, a .45-caliber Glock and a .380-caliber handgun.
Hagler noted Dixon got a good deal in exchange for his testimony, as he could have faced life in prison without parole on the murder charge, instead of 20 years for voluntary manslaughter.
Prosecutor Chris Williams countered that Dixon pleaded to six of the 11 counts with which he initially was charged, and still could face up to 115 years in prison if Judge William Rumer sentenced him to consecutive terms.
Now in its second week, the trial resumes today in Rumer’s Government Center courtroom.