Witness describes events of shooting in Powhatan murder trial

By Beth Danziger - bio | email

Posted by Colby Rogers

POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) - The murder trial of two cousins accused of murdering a teen last year continued Thursday in Powhatan.

Key prosecution witness Stephanie Reynolds took the stand today. She was in a vehicle with cousins Joey and Ethan Parrish at the time that Tahliek Taliaferro, 18, was shot and killed last summer.

During her nearly three-hour testimony, Reynolds told jurors several times that it was Ethan Parrish who shot Taliaferro from the car - not his cousin Joey.

Reynolds said that earlier in the day on June 24, 2008, she and the two Parrish cousins had been drinking and had smoked marijuana and taken LSD.

Reynolds said that Joey Parrish wanted to fight someone and that the cousins knew Taliaferro and his friends were driving behind them on Dorset Road in Powhatan.

Reynolds said the cousins forced her to pull over and that Joey Parrish got out of the vehicle with a handgun to cover up the license plate.

Meanwhile, Reynolds said, Ethan Parrish rolled down the back window of the vehicle holding a semi-automatic rifle.

She said Ethan Parrish then opened fire as Taliaferro's car passed and that Taliaferro laughed at the gun.

Stephanie Reynolds and the Parrish cousins all became visibly emotional during the testimony and cross-examination.

Reynolds spoke of how upset Ethan Parrish became after the shooting and how he wanted to kill himself. She said she'd never seen a man cry like Ethan Parrish did.

Family members on both sides said hearing the testimony was difficult.

"I feel just as bad for them," said Cindy Parrish, Joey Parrish's mother. "They have gone through a lot. I couldn't imagine losing my son, so I feel for the families."

Christina Taliaferro, the victim's cousin, said the drawn-out details of the case were upsetting.

"It's going to be rough the first couple of days, but hopefully we will get to an end and justice," Taliaferro said.

The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Friday, when the defense will present its case.

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