Witness returns in handcuffs at Davis trial

Tense moment in attempted murder case

April 08, 2010|By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

The 16-year-old mother of Lamont Davis' two children was returned to his trial in handcuffs - and in tears - late Wednesday after storming out of the courthouse during a break in the middle of her testimony.

Dynashaya Hall took the stand about 3 p.m. as a reluctant witness for the prosecution in Davis' trial on charges of attempted murder. He is accused of shooting Raven Wyatt, now 6, in the head last summer while firing at a teenager.

Hall testified early on that a different boy she knew had confessed to being the gunman. But her statement, which supported Davis' innocence, lost its weight as prosecutor Diana Smith uncovered inconsistencies between her testimony and the story she told police.

By 5 p.m., Hall had had enough and declared she was "going home" after Baltimore City Circuit Judge Gale E. Rasin allowed jurors to take a quick bathroom break. A sheriff restrained Hall until she promised to stay, and Rasin offered to get the young woman a nutrition bar. Minutes later, however, she was gone. She had grabbed her children and bolted five flights down to the courthouse steps, where officers cuffed her and brought her back upstairs.

It was a tense moment in a trial that has so far been marked by little evidence.

Wednesday's testimony was from Hall and another teenage witness who appeared to favor the defense but told inconsistent versions of a similar story.

Tradon Hicks allegedly spat in Hall's face during a sidewalk argument on July 2, 2009, which led to a fistfight and the shooting. But witness accounts have differed on many details, including who saw the fight, what the fighter was wearing, whether he was injured and who fired the gun.

Hall said a friend known by the nickname "Murder" fought with Hicks after the spitting incident, and Murder's face was cut and bleeding "a lot." Hall said she left the area, and Murder confessed to shooting Raven later that day. (Hicks was shot in the forearm.)

Murder, also known as Maurice Powell, 17, was called as a witness, but he never showed up and has been missing for two weeks, according to his attorney.

Donell Govia, 17, also testified Wednesday that Murder was involved in the fight, though he didn't remember any injuries or blood. And a surveillance video appeared to show Govia walking on another street at a time Hall said he was with her. The rest of Govia's testimony, given while handcuffed and chained, dealt with misinformation he gave police and whether he had become friendly with Davis, 17, since his incarceration. Govia is jailed on unrelated attempted murder charges.

The jury was dismissed for the day after Hall's attempted escape. Rasin told the young woman to be in court by 9:30 a.m. today, the fourth day of testimony, or sheriff's deputies would be sent to get her.

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