Parties Deliver Opening Arguments in Murder Case

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Parties in a murder case made their opening arguments and spoke to witnesses on July 6.

Nyekemia Everett, 35, and Malik Hewitt, 41, are charged with first-degree murder while armed in the shooting of 37-year-old Christopher Heard on the 2700 Block of Bruce Place, SE, on April 27, 2017. 

During opening statements, the prosecution said Heard had recently been released from jail and was selling the drug PCP, a powerful hallucinogen, to make money while staying with a friend. 

“It’s because of that drug trade that he was targeted by the defendants,” the prosecution said. 

The prosecution argued that the two defendants plotted to rob and kill Heard.

“Defendant Everett shot and killed Christopher Heard,” they said. “The getaway driver is defendant Hewitt.”

The prosecution said surveillance footage would be “the most powerful evidence in this case.” They also said a black car seen driven by the defendants in the footage was later recovered with the alleged murder weapon, a revolver, in the glove compartment. 

In defense attorney Michael Madden’s opening statement, he said that, on the night of the homicide, Heard was high on PCP and attempting to rob a witness at the crime scene of $15.

Madden said this witness had initially supported this narrative when talking with police, but changed her story after a detective suggested she was potentially liable.

Defense attorney Nikki Lotze followed. 

“The only evidence that Mr. Hewitt was involved in any robbery comes from [this witness], and it will become clear to you that she cannot be trusted,” she said.

The prosecution’s first witness said she was close with Heard for 10 to 15 years. She allowed Heard, who she referred to as “Fat Daddy,” to stay at her home since his release from jail. She said she was aware that Heard sold PCP, but did not allow him to sell or smoke it in her home. 

Before the shooting, Heard accompanied the witness to court as she got off probation and they later went to a party to celebrate the occasion, she said. She was later awoken by her daughter around 3:30 a.m., who told her to “please go check on Uncle Fat Daddy.”

After discovering Heard was not in the house, she said she went outside, where she saw him on the ground with what she believed to be blood on his shirt. She then called 911. The prosecution played a recording of the call during the trial. 

A Metropolitan Police Department lieutenant was also called to the witness stand. He did not finish his testimony, however. Judge Neal Kravitz said he will continue when the trial resumes on July 7.

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.

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