Jury to begin deciding Chase case today
Closing arguments this morning
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson and Public Defender Jan King have a final chance this morning to convince a jury that they have the stronger case against Brandon Chase.
Chase, now 30, spent 35 minutes testifying Wednesday afternoon, telling jurors he had been trying to buy some marijuana, but was not part of any plan to rob, or kill, Mosely, a drug dealer.
“Tracy (Session) said we could rob him,” Chase told King Wednesday afternoon, “and I said, ‘I’m not going to rob nobody.’”
Tracy Session, now 26, pleaded guilty last Nov. 7 as part of a plea bargain, and Cole County Presiding Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce sentenced him to 20 years in prison in the case.
Chase and Khiry Summers, now 20, face the same charges as Session — second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action — that a grand jury lodged against them last year, following the April 22, 2012, killing of Keith Mosely, 34, Columbia.
Summers is scheduled to be tried in Joyce’s courtroom next month.
Conviction of the charges could lead to two life prison sentences — or from 10-30 years — on the murder and robbery charges and at least five years on the armed criminal action complaint.
Under questioning by King, Chase admitted telling Danielle Coleman, a friend, that he was interested in buying some marijuana, after Coleman received a call from another friend, Lailani Old, seeking a buyer.
Chase said he thought the drugs would come from Brent Slaughter, Old’s companion and father of her daughter.
When Slaughter and Old arrived at Coleman’s apartment, 1029-B Buena Vista St., without the drugs, Chase testified he was surprised but not angry.
When called later by Mosely, Chase said, “I told him, ‘If you don’t trust him (Slaughter) with the marijuana, why should I trust him with my money?’”
While agreeing to wait for Mosely to bring the drugs, Chase said he never planned to just wait in Coleman’s apartment, since “a friend had just gotten out of prison and I was visiting with him,” too.
He also visited with Session, whose apartment was nearby and whom Chase described as “my weed-dealer.”
Summers also was there, Chase said, and he had seen a gun there.
When he went back to Coleman’s apartment shortly after midnight, in the early hours of April 22, Chase said he knew he was being followed and he wanted to warn Mosely and others about a robbery attempt.
But Chase denied being a part of the plan when Richardson accused him of being the mastermind of the robbery attempt.
“You weren’t in there (telling Mosely), ‘Give him the stuff. Give him the stuff!’ when Summers, wearing a mask and carrying a gun, came into Coleman’s apartment?” Richardson asked.
“No, sir,” Chase said.
He acknowledged going to the Jefferson City police station later that Sunday, and “turned myself in on the (outstanding) warrants that I had.
“I went to clear my name, because I didn’t have anything to do with” the robbery or Mosely’s killing.
Detective Mark Edwards testified Wednesday afternoon that neither Chase nor Slaughter talked about the possible drug deal until after being told of Mosely’s death.
Chase’s story went from “he was playing cards, and an individual came in and started shooting” to “he was there to buy weed from the white boy (Slaughter),” Edwards told Richardson.
But, the detective added, Chase never admitted to being part of the robbery plan, and didn’t know who fired the shots.
Old told the jury that Mosely came to the apartment several times, while he and Chase negotiated about the marijuana. Mosely didn’t just wait at Coleman’s apartment, Old said, because he “had a birthday party to go to, so he left.”
She said the shootings happened after Mosely had returned to the apartment, and Chase said he had to get the money for the drug deal — then returned, followed by Summers.
The jury panel heard much the same evidence as both sides presented at Chase’s first trial in early March.
In that trial, the jury deliberated about 31⁄2-hours before telling Judge Dan Green they were deadlocked, and he declared a mistrial.
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