Defense closes in Jeffers trial

A neighbor who lived next to the West Bay yard where Damion Ming was murdered told a jury that two men crossed his property minutes before the shooting started and he later saw a car drive off.

Dalvin Brown Ebanks said he saw two men walking across his yard about five minutes before he heard gunshots, and then he saw them running away and a car driving away.

Mr. Ming’s body was found under a boat trailer in a yard off Birch Tree Hill Road after police responded to calls about gunshots.

Mr. Ebanks said lots of people walk across his yard and he had not paid much attention to the men. He had been watching TV, which is by his front door, which was wide open, when the men passed; he only got a brief glimpse of them and could not identify anything about them other than they were wearing dark clothing.

Around five minutes later, he heard three popping sounds, like fireworks, and then six more that sounded different, like gunshots.

Then he saw two men running across the fence on Swallow Lane [a side road off Birch Tree Hill Road]. He said he heard two car doors slam and saw a light-colored car drive off. He said he did not see the men at the yard where the shooting occurred.

Asked by crown prosecutor Andrew Radcliffe if he saw the men carrying anything. He said no.

Another defense witness, Bonny Anglin, Jeffers’s aunt, told the court that her nephew’s former girlfriend had not stayed with her on the weekend the ex-girlfriend claimed Jeffers confessed to her he had killed Damion Ming.

The ex-girlfriend had earlier told the court that Jeffers had phoned her when she was at the aunt’s house the morning after the fatal shooting.

That call led to her going to the home of another of Jeffers’s relatives, which was where she said he admitted killing Mr. Ming.

Ms. Anglin denied that the ex-girlfriend stayed with her the weekend after the March 25, 2010 shooting, which is when the alleged confession was made. She said she did not know if Jeffers and the woman were together that weekend.

Two days before Jeffers was arrested in May 2010, Ms. Anglin said, the ex-girlfriend told her she was going to the police to “tell them what they want to hear and put him in jail for the rest of his life.” She said she called Jeffers’s father and told him what had been said.

Defense counsel Michael Wolkind closed his case on Tuesday morning after facts were shared with the jury about Mr. Ming’s criminal associations.

Justice Malcolm Swift told jurors that the next part of proceedings will be for both counsel to make closing speeches, after which he will sum up and give directions on law.

He expected to send them to their deliberations on Wednesday.