Closing arguments are scheduled Thursday morning before a Cole County jury begins deliberations in the trial of a Jefferson City man charged in the shooting death of another Jefferson City man on New Year's Day 2017.
The jury heard testimony from the defendant in the case Wednesday.
Jeffery Millens Jr., 25, is charged with second-degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and armed criminal action.
The victim, Quonterio Davis, 23, died after being shot multiple times in the torso in a residence in the 900 block of East Capitol Avenue.
The two men each had a child with the same woman, who was attending a party and at the time was pregnant with Davis' child. Authorities believe some sort of conflict between the two led to the shooting.
Taking the stand in his own defense, Millens said Wednesday he was working on the night of the shooting and had seen a social media post about the party. He said he didn't know who had organized the party or who would be at the party.
When he arrived at the party, Millens said, there were about 20 people outside and 30-40 people inside the residence.
While inside the residence, Millens testified, an altercation broke out; he believed three people were involved but didn't know who they were.
"I heard gunshots, and I followed the crowd and ran out," Millens said.
Much of the testimony Wednesday focused on the law enforcement response to the crime.
Jefferson City Police Detective Jon Kempker told the jury how he had interviewed Kirsten Andrews, Millens' cousin who was at the party where the shooting occurred. On the stand Tuesday, Andrews said she was drunk and had used marijuana at the party, but Kempker said he had not noticed any smell of alcohol or marijuana on her and noted the interview took place a few hours after the incident.
Kempker said he presented a photo lineup to Andrews and asked her to tell him who she had seen earlier at the party. Kempker testified Andrews chose the photo of Millens.
Prosecutors then asked Judge Dan Green to allow them to play a portion of the interview for the jury. Millens' defense attorneys argued this did not allow them to cross-examine Andrews and this evidence should have been brought forth when Andrews was on the stand Tuesday. Green overruled the defense argument and allowed prosecutors to play the video.
"I need you to show who you saw tonight and who you think was the shooter — don't guess," Kempker told Andrews during the interview. Andrews indicated she recognized Millens out of the lineup, saying, "The look on his face. I'll never forget that as long as I live."
Andrews told Kempker she had seen Millens putting his arm down and turning toward her. Then she saw Davis on the floor and he reportedly said, "Don't let me die." Andrews said Davis did not say who had shot him.
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Millens' attorney, Adam Cartwright, brought Andrews back to the courtroom to testify again, and she told the jury she did not believe Kempker was asking her to identify the shooter, only the person she saw putting his arm down and turning toward her, which was Millens. She also claimed it was a mistake for her to have said on a 911 call, which was played for the jury Tuesday, that Millens was the shooter. Andrews said she never saw the shooter and only said Millens was the shooter because that was what someone else had told her.
Also testifying Wednesday was Missouri Highway Patrol Technician Teresa Shank, who told jurors DNA that matched Millens was found on two samples taken from a lock of hair authorities found at the the scene of the shooting. Shank said she did not find any of Davis' DNA on the samples.
On the stand, Millens told Cartwright his dreadlocks had been pulled out easily by his small child and at times he didn't even know they had fallen or been pulled out.
Also Wednesday, jurors heard recordings of multiple calls made by Millens to the Jefferson City 911 Center following the shooting.
In those calls, Millens tells operators he has people, "sending death threats to me, but I'm nowhere near a shooting. They're telling me if the cops don't get me, then they will." He at first said he was at a party when people started running out, then later said he didn't know where the party was.
During the calls, 911 operators tell Millens he needs to speak with officers about the threats so he can be cleared if he was not involved. Millens said he didn't understand why he needed to speak to an officer face-to-face and thought he could just talk to an officer on the phone.
Millens later said he was on his way to the party, "but why would I go into a party where people were running in and out of it screaming? This sounds like a setup to me."
When questioned Wednesday by Cole County Prosecutor Locke Thompson, Millens admitted that what he had said about going to a party and people running out was correct and that, when he was interviewed by police, he had denied going to the party.
Millens was taken into custody in the area of Hawthorn Parkway and Linden Drive after the 911 Center was able to track his location through his cellphone.
Millens was interviewed by JCPD Detective Jason Ambler twice after he was picked up by officers.
Prosecutors played a video for the jury showing how Millens allegedly resisted Ambler following an interview at the police department as Ambler tried to get a gun residue sample from Millens' hands.
On the video, Ambler is shown telling Millens to stand up so he can get the sample, but Millens said he doesn't have to because there has been no probable cause made against him and it was a violation of his rights.
When questioned by Cartwright, Millens said he had made different statements to authorities because he was scared, having seen "how police treat African American men."
Cartwright made a motion to dismiss the case, saying prosecutors had presented no evidence Millens was physically in possession of a gun and that, while his hand had tested positive for gunshot residue, the test could only indicate he had come in contact with gunshot residue at some point in an eight-hour time frame.
Green denied the motion to dismiss, meaning the case will go to the jury to decide.