DES MOINES, Iowa — The First Degree Murder Trial of Preston Walls concluded with the case being sent to the jury. Walls is accused of killing two classmates, Gionni Dameron and Rashad Carr, and wounding school founder Will Keeps.
On Tuesday attorneys for the defense and prosecution gave their closing arguments to convince the jury.
Public Defender Darren Page painted a picture of young black men shooting at each other, not really knowing how the conflict started.
“They don’t need to fight over territories it’s not an economic thing, it’s a respect thing and it’s insane,” said Page. “I’ve been doing this a long time and I can’t wrap my head around it.”
Page added he could understand how the jury would have trouble understanding. He also criticized the prosecution for showing graphic videos of the crime scene.
“The very first thing he did to you and to these folks right here, was the put on that horrifying video of the officer’s camera, horrifying,” said Page. “I’ve only watched that thing twice once before and then that day, and I still had the same feelings when I saw it. That was absolutely horrifying. What evidentiary value did that video bring to you?”
“With respect to the idea that we played these videos for you, we introduced these exhibits to somehow make you in enraged or hate the defendant, you remember instruction number three,” said Daniel Voogt, Assistant County Attorney. “Preston Walls entered a plea of not guilty. The plea of not guilty is a complete denial of the charges and places the burden on the state to prove guilt beyond the reasonable doubt.”
The prosecution reminded the jury that Walls cut off his ankle bracelet monitor.
“There’s unreasonable force under the circumstances, nine shots fired into Rashad Carr, thirteen shots into Gionni Dameron,” said Voogt.
The jury deliberated for around two hours on Tuesday.