Witnesses take stand in 2-day trial for third suspect charged in Markiya Dickson murder

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 5:42 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 8:44 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Witness testimony was heard Monday, as the third suspect charged in the murder of 9-year-old Markiya Dickson was in court.

The jury trial began for Jesus Turner, who is charged with murder and malicious wounding.

Dickson was a Chesterfield third-grader who was shot and killed at Carter Jones Park during a community cookout in May 2019. An 11-year-old boy at the park that day was also shot in the arm and chest but survived.

Richmond police say the shooting was not random and that there were two groups of people fighting on the park’s basketball court.

Jermaine Davis and Quinshawn Betts were the two other men who have been convicted of murdering Dickson.

During the first day of the trial, the prosecution and defense gave opening statements focusing on one important witness that is said to have gotten in a shootout with the three suspects.

The prosecutor called Markiya’s murder and the shooting at Carter Jones Park “unquestionably one of the worst crimes of [2019] that the city experienced at the time.”

The prosecution said the man knew the three suspects from childhood, and he was the intended target.

In opening statements, it was said he fired back in self-defense in Carter Jones Park.

When that man took the stand Monday, at first, he would not answer questions from the prosecution. He was silent when asked “do you know Markiya?” and was shown a photo of her. He eventually said he “has his own stuff going on,” and said, “I told y’all I didn’t want to be here.”

He said he had seen Jesus Turner before, but emphasized they were not friends. He did testify that he fired on that day in May 2019 to protect the mother of his child and his child when he saw a man with a gun walk up to him in the park.

The defense says this witness didn’t report the shooting right away but spoke to officers two weeks later when they showed up at his door. The defense said the man had “multiple” weapons that were not seized when officers came to his home.

The defense told jurors the case ultimately will come down to the credibility of the stories from witnesses. Jesus Turner’s defense attorney told the court “I implore each of you to listen carefully and find Turner not guilty.”

The 11-year-old, who was shot that day, also took the stand. He thought the gunshots were fireworks and remembered seeing a man with a gun. He didn’t realize he had been shot at first. He eventually ran to his mom for help.

Testimony is set to resume Tuesday at 9 a.m.

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