Defendant Argues Self Defense After Sharing His Childhood of Gun Violence in Homicide Case

During trial on March 16, the defense called Kaevon Sutton to the stand to further their argument for self defense. 

Sutton, 21, is charged with first-degree murder while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and carrying a pistol without a license outside a home or place of business in relation to the shooting of Aujee Tyler. Sutton allegedly shot Tyler, 22, after an altercation on March 19, 2018, on the 3500 block of Stanton Road, SE. 

On Thursday, Sutton’s defense attorney, Jessica Willis, began her questioning by having Sutton give a recount of the events that followed up to the death of Tyler in 2018. 

According to his testimony, Sutton had been driving a stolen vehicle when Tyler approached him and asked that he sell him the bumper to the vehicle to replace the damaged bumper of his own car. When Sutton declined, Tyler grew increasingly angry.

Sutton said he fled the area despite a lack of threats or weapons during the altercation.

A few weeks later, Sutton said he and  “Quick,” Tyler’s alias, had gotten into another argument about the bumper, so he left the area again to avoid further argument.

When he had returned, Sutton said Tyler approached him with what appeared to be a gun. He said he proceeded to pull out his gun after Tyler threatened him.

“I’ll kill your little ass and take everything,” Tyler allegedly stated.

Sutton then testified that after Tyler began reaching for his own weapon, he fired his gun, killing Tyler.

Willis then questioned Sutton about his relationship with Tyler before the incident, to which he explained that he had grown up in the same neighborhood with Tyler. The two had been around each other frequently but had never established any kind of relationship.

Sutton also testified that a previous witness’ testimony about their friendship and how they were together everyday was incorrect.

The same witness also stated that he and Tyler had started a mentorship program together and that Tyler had taken Sutton in as his mentee. Sutton also denied this testimony.

The witness’ testimony was discussed further when Sutton explained that the previous assertion, that Tyler’s gun was a prop, was incorrect. He said Tyler had brandished his gun at a hangout spot often used for illegal activity on multiple occasions.

Willis also had Sutton explain his previous experience with gun violence. 

Sutton said he experienced frequent shootings since the age of nine and witnessed the shooting of a man from his neighborhood. He also said that, at the age of 14 or 15, he was in a crowd that was shot at during a drive-by. 

Throughout Sutton’s testimony, tension was increasingly high as the prosecution objected multiple times on the basis of leading the witness, causing a narrative, and hearsay.

On a few occasions, the family of the victim verbally agreed, from the audience, with the prosecution’s objections.

After returning from lunch, DC Superior Court Judge Michael Ryan vacated the trial because a juror was lost to a family emergency. 

The trial is set to resume on March 20.

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