[Watch live coverage of the trial on the Law & Crime Network, with in-studio legal analysis in the player above when court begins. For a raw feed of the trial, watch in the player below this article.]
Three Florida men are on trial for second-degree murder related to a shooting outside the Cloud 9 Club in Ocala on September 13, 2015. Laquan Barrow, Michael Smith, and Gary King are all facing charges. Barrow was 24 when he was arrested. Smith and King were 20. The three men each face second-degree murder charges for the death of Benetria Robinson, 19, who died outside the club of gunshot wounds to her head and shoulder, police and court records indicate.
Five others were injured. Nathaniel Kendrick, 35, suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. Danielle Kendrick, 28, and Dontarious Bartley, 19, were both shot in the back. Thomia Wadley, 21, and Danvinist Blunt, 22, were shot both in the leg.
All three defendants face various attempted second-degree murder charges with relation to the shootings of the five surviving victims, except for King, who does not appear to face any charges surrounding the shooting of victim Danielle Kendrick.
Prosecutors say the shootings unfolded when victim Danielle Kendrick started fighting with another woman inside the club. Kendrick later told police she wasn’t sure if she was involved in the fight, but that Myeasha Barrow and “some other girl” were involved. Several people and defendant Barrow were reportedly thrown out out of the club, but the fight continued outside. Several witness said defendants Barrow and King went to a pickup truck. Each put something into their pockets and returned to the front of the club. There, Barrow and Smith started yelling for the crowd to move. Barrow said, “Y’all better move, I got bond money and I am going to catch a body tonight,” according to an arrest affidavit. A bouncer and other witnesses then saw Barrow reach into his pocket, pull out a gun, and shoot into the crowd.
One witness told police that Smith was one of the shooters.
During Tuesday’s opening statements, defense attorneys for Barrow, Smith, and King all said that their clients didn’t have guns and did shoot anyone.
The prosecution called several witnesses on Tuesday, including first responders who handled the chaos and treated victims. Chaos at the scene was captured by a police body camera, and the court got to view the video. Later in the day, fingerprint and DNA analysis was discussed, and Wednesda’s testimony will likely deal with this as well.
Stay with Law&Crime.com and the Law&Crime Network for continuing coverage of the case.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]