Ex-Girlfriend, MPD Officer Testify During Murder Trial

The trial for Daniel Parker’s murder continued with multiple witnesses testifying, including a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer who was the victim’s neighbor and the victim’s ex-girlfriend.

Dewayne Shorter, 33, is charged with first-degree murder while armed in the shooting of 38-year-old Parker on July 26, 2017, on the 2000 block of Fairlawn Avenue, SE. Shorter is also charged with assault with intent to kill while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence and unlawful possession of a firearm while armed during a crime of violence.

An MPD officer was called to the witness stand. At the time of the shooting, the officer was neighbors with Parker and was able to identify on a map where the shooting happened.

The officer said he had a few conversations with Parker in the past and knew his two brothers. He said he often saw foot traffic going in and out of Parker’s house and assumed Parker was involved in drug transactions and had previously reported the activity.

On the day of the homicide, the officer said he had arrived home and had briefly spoken with Parker, who was throwing a party. While he was inside, the officer heard what he at first thought were fireworks, but realized they were gunshots. He then grabbed his radio and service weapon and ran outside.

Once outside, the officer saw Parker’s body lying on the ground and noticed a firearm in the waistband of Parker’s shorts. The officer was able to identify Parker’s body in a photo the prosecution showed. 

Defense attorney Gemma Stevens asked the officer if he was told not to talk to the prosecution. The officer denied this. Stevens then asked the officer why he did not want to talk to the prosecution. The office replied that he was off the clock and had already made his statement, so he did not find it necessary to speak to them when asked to.

The second witness to testify, Parker’s ex-girlfriend, said she dated the victim from 2016-2017 for about eight months but had known each other for years before. She said although they were broken up at the time he was killed, they continued to see each other.

When asked about Parker’s financial situation, she said he made extra money by selling marijuana. At the time of the shooting, the ex-girlfriend was sitting with her mother in a parked car and Parker was standing nearby, outside the car. The ex-girlfriend also thought she was hearing fireworks at first, but later realized she was hearing gunfire.

In her statement to the grand jury, the ex-girlfriend had said the shooter was wearing all black clothing, but during the trial, she said she was not sure what the shooter was wearing. When asked about the weapon that killed Parker, the ex-girlfriend told the prosecution she believed it was an assault rifle because it sounded like one.

One she realized she was hearing gunshots that day, she drove off and saw Parker run away, she said. She confirmed to the prosecution that she later went back to the crime scene to check on Parker and tell responding officers she was there.

The ex-girlfriend said she never saw Shorter shoot Parker. She said the only thing she is sure of is that Parker was killed and that her life has changed. The prosecution asked if a mutual friend of hers and Parker had told her what to say to the police, but she denied this.

The prosecution questioned the ex-girlfriend about the discrepancies in her grand jury statement and her statements made during the trial. She admitted to being under the influence during the grand jury testimony. The ex-girlfriend also said she had told the prosecution that at the time,  she was “not in the right frame of mind”.

When asked what she was under the influence of, the ex-girlfriend said at the time she was “taking a lot of molly”. Molly is the street name for MDMA, a psychoactive drug. The prosecution asked if she had been arrested for possession of molly and the ex-girlfriend said yes. The prosecution said because her arrest happened multiple days before her grand jury testimony, she could not have been under the influence. The ex-girlfriend said the drugs must have still been in her system.

The prosecution asked the ex-girlfriend about Parker allegedly telling her that he had shot at someone. The ex-girlfriend said she did not take what he said seriously because, “[he] was always high on molly and not sleeping for four to five days”. 

The ex-girlfriend was asked if she had originally said the shooter was a black man. The ex-girlfriend replied she did not know if the shooter was “God or the devil”.

Defense attorney Jon Norris asked the ex-girlfriend if she knew who the shooter was and she responded the same as when the prosecutor asked.

The ex-girlfriend also confirmed to Norris that she and Parker broke up because of his use of molly, which she said made him “snappy and agitated.” She said she did not know, however, if Parker and his brothers fought about molly use.

DC Superior Court Judge Marisa Demeo scheduled the trial to resume on Nov. 16 with more witnesses.