Testimony begins in trial for accused Truck Park shooter
Opening statements are complete and testimony is now underway in the trial of one of the suspects in the deadly Truck Park mass shooting.
Terry Brown, 34, is charged in connection with the shooting that left one person dead and more than a dozen others injured at the St. Paul bar in October 2021.
Brown faces a murder charge for allegedly shooting and killing 27-year-old Marquisha Wiley and is also charged with four counts of attempted murder for others injured in the shooting. In April 2022, the state dismissed seven of the 11 second-degree attempted murder charges against Brown.
In total, 14 people were hurt when Brown and Devondre Trevon Phillips opened fire on each there in a crowded bar in St. Paul. Phillips was convicted on eight counts of attempted second-degree murder earlier this year. The jury reached their verdict less than a full day after getting the case.
With the jury for Brown’s trial chosen Monday and Tuesday, opening statements began just after 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Ramsey County Courthouse.
Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Treye Kettwick told jurors that Brown showed “a complete disregard for everybody else” inside the bar that night.
While Kettwick noted that Phillips fired first, he added that, “This isn’t a good guy and a bad guy with a gun. … There’s no white knight, no good guys with guns, just bad actors.”
Brown’s attorney, Stephen Grigsby, agreed with Kettwick that Phillips fired first but told jurors that Brown was just defending himself.
Later in the morning, jurors heard the first testimony in the case when a St. Paul police officer who responded to the scene described what he saw as his body camera video played. As that video played, jurors could also hear cries for help from some of the victims.
Later, Ernest Whitmore, one of the victims who was shot, testified that it was, “the worst night and continues to be the worst night. It changed my life.” Another victim, a young woman, told jurors that the bullet she was hit by that night is still lodged in her today and serves as a daily reminder of the violence.
In the afternoon, the judge dismissed one of the jurors, who said she was emotionally overwhelmed hearing the evidence. The dismissal leaves just one alternate juror on the panel.
Testimony is scheduled to continue into next week.
Two people, Gabriel Lee Young-Duncan and Jerome Fletcher Horton, were convicted for straw purchasing the weapons used in the shooting. A lawsuit against Fleet Farm was also filed for its role in providing the guns.
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