Closing Arguments Begin in Murder Trial

July 21 marked the first day of closing arguments in a murder trial.

Nyekemia Everett, 35, and Malik Hewitt, 41, are charged with first-degree murder while armed in the death of 37-year-old Christopher Heard on the 2300 block of Ainger Place, SE, on April 27, 2017. The prosecution alleges that the two defendants plotted to rob and kill Heard, who was selling the drug PCP to make money after having recently been released from jail. They allege that Everett shot Heard, while Hewitt acted as the getaway driver.

The prosecution walked the jury through the day of Heard’s death as they argue it unfolded. They recounted the cell phone records and video footage they admitted as evidence.

Everett’s defense attorney, Michael Madden, challenged the credibility of the prosecution’s key witness, and argued that the DNA evidence was lacking. He went on to argue that the police’s canvassing of the area around the crime scene was insufficient, and that the prosecution chose not to interview other potential witnesses at the apartment complex where Heard was killed.

Defense attorney Nikki Lotze is scheduled to deliver her closing arguments on July 22.

Hewitt is also charged with possession of a firearm during an act of violence, felony murder while armed and conspiracy in this case. Everett is also charged with possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, unlawful possession of a firearm, fleeing a law enforcement officer, attempt to commit robbery while armed, conspiracy and obstructing justice.