NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The capital murder trial for a Nacogdoches man accused of shooting and killing two men in January 2014 got under way Monday.
Decobie "Gutter" Durden, of Nacogdoches, appeared in Judge Ed Klein's 420th Judicial District Court. He is accused of the shooting deaths of Deveston Flemon and William Cole at the Eastwood Terrace Apartment Complex off of E.J. Blvd.
Flemon, who was shot in the head, was pronounced dead at the scene. Col, who was shot twice in the back, died a short time later at a Nacogdoches hospital.
After the state waived its prosecuting statement, the prosecutor called Ryan Ball, a detective with the Nacogdoches Police Department, to the stand. Ball explained to the jury that on the day of the double homicide, he was working as a security officer at Eastwood Terrace.
Ball said he heard a loud sound, followed by two more. At that point, he knew something was going on, he said.
As Ball approached the crime scene, he saw two bodies on the ground.
Ball said a woman approached him and said, "I saw everything. I was the caller."
After Ball talked to the woman in an apartment, he had a pretty good idea that he was looking for Durden said. He said, all total, about 20 people worked on the case.
Ball testified that the witness identified the shooter as "G" or "Gutter." Further investigation linked Durden to the nicknames.
Two witnesses picked the defendant out in photos, Ball said. He said the defendant turned himself in and admitted to shooting Cole and Fleming. Durden later helped authorities to recover the firearm used in the shooting.
At that point, defense attorney John Boundy started questioning Ball. After Boundy confirmed that the defendant was cooperative, he asked Ball if he knew the origin of the nickname "Gutter."
"He was born in Eastwood Terrace in a gutter. They call him Gutter Baby," Boundy said.
Ball said that night, as he headed toward the area where the incident happened, he encountered a man named Christopher Nash. Nash allegedly told Ball something was going on "over there." Nash then took off running. Ball said he cannot remember the conversation specifically, but after speaking with Nash, he cleared him.
Ball said that several things were going on at the crime scene. He described it as "controlled chaos."
When Boundy asked about a man named Charles Sanders, Ball said that Sanders was hysterical and that he was standing over one of the victims and saying, "Wake up. Get up."
"Controlled chaos," is how ball described the scene. Boundy asks about a man named Charles Sanders. Ball agrees that Sanders was hysterically standing over one of the victim's body saying "wake up, get up."
NPD Sgt. Keith Finchan took the stand next. He says he was not on duty the night of the incident but had the equipment, Total Station, to collect data at crime scenes. Finchan said the equipment is tested yearly to make sure it functions properly.
Finchan said that on the night of the double homicide, they plotted the victims' cars, shell casings, buildings, sidewalks, and a tree. He said that the firearm was not a part of the plotting because it hadn't been found at that point.
Evidence in the computer was overlooked, and it was a mistake on the police department's part, Finchan said. He confirmed that this is why the trial date was set back.