FAIRFIELD — While the prosecution case took a few weeks, the defense case Friday took only a few hours in the murder retrial of a man who shot and killed a teenage drug dealer during a botched 2008 robbery attempt.
Unlike in the first trial, the defendant, Deshaun P. Malone, did not take the witness stand. The first trial in 2010 ended with a quick guilty verdict after just two hours of deliberation. That verdict was later overturned by the Court of Appeal that ruled the jury should have been given the chance to find Malone guilty of manslaughter instead of murder.
Closing arguments in the trial are scheduled Wednesday.
Malone, then 19, along with 17-year-old Jamal Kelly, arranged for Kendrick Lewis to meet them near Grande Circle and sell them some Ecstasy tablets on the night of Nov. 2, 2008. Malone shot Lewis as they met at Lewis’ car on Mockingbird Lane.
Three passengers in the car with Lewis testified earlier this week that Malone had pulled a gun during the deal and ordered them to hand over all their property. Malone fired the gun when Lewis started to drive away.
At his first trial, Malone said he thought he had seen a gun with one of the passengers and had decided to shoot the passenger in the arm because he was afraid and that the gun went off accidentally when he bumped the car’s window sill. That testimony was echoed earlier this week by investigators who testified they got the same story from Malone at the time he was arrested a month after the shooting.
The brief defense case focused largely on two of those passengers, who one or two nearby residents saw briefly walk away from the car after the shooting. Malone’s defense attorney has said the two passengers conspired to hide a gun in a nearby yard before police arrived at the crime scene.
Kelly is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence for his role in the deadly robbery attempt.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.