Prosection rests its case against second man accused in Kent killing

June 21, 2000|By Chris Guy | Chris Guy,SUN STAFF

CHESTERTOWN - Hamstrung by a key witness, Kent County prosecutors rested their case yesterday against the second of two white Eastern Shore brothers charged with shooting a 73-year-old black woman as she returned from a Christmas shopping trip Dec. 4.

David W. Starkey Jr., 24, is accused in the shotgun slaying of Germaine Porcea Clarkston. Police say he and his 20-year-old brother, Daniel R. Starkey, trailed Clarkston and two female relatives for more than 20 miles before David Starkey, a passenger in his brother's pickup truck, fired two shots into Clarkston's compact car as the women arrived in their rural Kent County neighborhood.

Both men were charged after their arrests Dec. 9 with committing a hate crime, but Circuit Court Judge J. Frederick Price threw out the charge for lack of evidence in the trial of Daniel Starkey, who was convicted last week of second-degree murder and attempted murder.

On Monday, prosecutor Robert H. Strong Jr., who had hoped to introduce evidence about racist tattoos worn by David Starkey and comments he made during a cellular phone call just minutes after the shooting, withdrew a similar hate-crime charge against David Starkey.

Yesterday, Royal J. Prevette, a friend of the brothers, testified that he was drunk most of the day on Dec. 4 and could not remember details of a phone call from David Starkey.

Strong has said David Starkey called Prevette immediately after the shooting, claiming he was entitled to wear a "13 tattoo," for having committed a racial crime.

Ronald Ferguson, another friend of the Starkey brothers, who spent much of Dec. 4 hunting and drinking with the pair and Prevette, testified yesterday that he called police four days after Clarkston was shot and said the brothers had left two shotguns in his backyard shed.

David Starkey faces a possible life sentence if convicted of first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder.

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