NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - During the fourth day of testimony in the capital murder trial of a Nacogdoches man accused of shooting and killing two men, a police officer described the search for the 9 mm Glock used in the double homicide.
Decobie "Gutter" Durden, of Nacogdoches, is accused of the January 2014 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. Cole, who was shot twice in the back, died a short time later at a Nacogdoches hospital.
Bill Kennedy, a sergeant with the Nacogdoches Police Department, took the stand first. He described what happened when he got to the crime scene.
When officers realized that Durden was the primary suspect, they immediately started working on a search warrant, Kennedy said. Once they obtained the warrant, Kennedy helped with the search of Durden's residence.
At that point, Kennedy left the scene and talked to both Durden and witnesses.
Kennedy said when law enforcement officers had general location of where the gun used in the crime was, he and other officers went to the wooded area to search for it. He said they didn't find it until Durden arrived and showed them where it was.
"Our job is to find the truth," Kennedy said.
On the stand Kennedy went into detail about how he thought the shooting incident went down. He said, based on the wound paths and the way the victims fell, he could get an idea of what happened.
Kennedy said Flemon was shot through the eye, and he had abrasions on his knee. He added that the evidence indicated that Durden was moving toward Cole when he shot him.
"The evidence that supports that is the autopsy results," Kennedy said.
Based on Flemon's body position, someone moved him, Kennedy said. He said there were boot prints in his blood.
"Someone rolled him on his back," Kennedy said.
During his cross examination, defense attorney John Boundy implied that Sanders may have moved both victims to get something off of them. Boundy said the fact that Cole's shoes had blood spatters on them could mean that they got there when Sanders removed something from the other man's body.
However, Kennedy said even if something was removed from Cole's body, it wouldn't change his opinion on how the shooting incident played out.
Kennedy said, based on Durden's body language during his statement to police, he didn't seem scared.
"He made it clear that he would've shot Cole more times if he had more bullets," Kennedy said.
Before he started calling his witnesses to the stand, Boundy made an opening statement. He said one of his witnesses saw Sanders remove something from Cole's body and said that the evidence will show that Sanders contacted a woman who found a gun in her 5-year-old daughter's room and told her he wanted it back.
Boundy argued that he believed Jakeya Hall, who was called to the stand earlier in the trial, and Sanders came up with a story before they went to police.
When Hall took the stand again, she said that she didn't talk to her brother or Sanders before going to the police station. Boundy asked Hall if she had ever talked to Sanders about sticking to a story, and she denied it.
"I said, 'You stick with what you got to say, and I'll stick with what I got to say, and we'll stick together," Hall said.
Hall told the jury that the shooting changed her life. She said she doesn't really have anyone in her life any more since the incident, and she is staying friends with Sanders because they have to have each other's backs.
Later, Boundy called Sanders back to the stand. During Sanders' testimony, the judge cautioned him not to curse in court.
Sanders said that he doesn't know Hall's brother. However, he did admit to telling Hall, "As long as you won't leave me, I won't leave you."
Daniel Brewer, an inmate at the Nacogdoches County Jail who is also known as D-Lo, took the stand next. He said at the time of the shooting incident, he was living with Hall at the Eastwood Terrace apartment complex. Brewer also said he knew of the two victims and Flemon.
Brewer testified that he heard Hall tell Sanders that she told the police what they agreed on, and they will put the blame on Durden.
"She said, "As long as won't leave me, I won't leave you,'" Brewer said. "It seemed like some real shady stuff was going on over the phone."
When Ranicki Williams took the stand, she said that she didn't see the shooting but saw what happened prior to the shooting.
Williams was sleeping with her 7-year-old daughter in the front bedroom when she heard yelling outside.
After hearing gunshots, she went outside, and she saw Flemon's body near her house.
When she heard gunshots she came outside.
Jakeya hall was on the phone with police while this was going on.
Williams said Lil C (Sanders) turned Cole on his back and took something from his waist area.
"He put whatever he grabbed into the car," Williams said. "Lil C (Sanders)kept saying this couldn't be happening."
Jaquavan Snider, also know a as Jay, was at Hall's house the night of the shooting.
Snider said Flemon, Cole, Sanders, Hall, and Jones left the apartment that night after drinking and headed to the parking lot.
Snider said that "DD" (Flemon) said, "Get rolled on or get rolled over'" to Durden.
Snider said durden told Flemon to "go on," meaning leave him alone. At that moment the two began to argue.
Snider said Cole raised his shirt while Flemon and Durden were arguing.
"I saw something metal," Snider said.
"DD (Flemon) was talking and running his mouth and started to come at Cobie (Durden) and that's when he shot him," Snider said.
When Tammy James, took the stand, she was very emotional and nervous. She said she recently lost her 26-year-old daughter.
A day after her daughter's death she was contacted on Facebook by Sanders about a gun being in her daughter's apartment. She went to the apartment and found the gun. James returned the gun to Sanders the next day.
Durden took the stand next, and he said he got out of his gang in 1999.
Durden said he got out the gang to get away from the violence and corruption.
He said he knew Cole from selling dope.
"If you got dope from '05 it'd be from me," Durden said.
Durden said he sold it to Cole because none of his friends would sell it to him.
Durden said a family member got 20 years for conspiracy and that's what changed his life.
Durden later went told his version of what happened that night. Durden said he went to throw something away from a dumpster, on the way back he saw the group of guys.
"I said, 'What are y'all up to,' and they said, 'We gone bear up some knees,' meaning they were going to have sex.
Durden said he warned them about the police, and Flemon responded in a way that made Durden feel disrespected.
"DD (Flemon) said, 'We C careful roll up or get rolled on,'" Durden said.
At that moment, Durden said, he told them to get away from him. However they began to argue and he saw Cole's gun and felt threatened.
"I'm afraid to die," Durden said. "Wouldn't you be afraid if someone was coming for your life?"