DETROIT COP KILLER TRIAL UPDATE
“He looked to the right and to the left, pulled out the gun and shot him in the head,” Grover said during the second day of testimony before Wayne County Circuit Judge Ulysses Boykin.
He told Wayne County assistant prosecutor Robert Stevens how the shot was fired.
“He dropped down and fell to the ground,” Grover said. “Mr. Mathews stepped over him and shot three to five more times.”
Those in the courtroom became emotional during Grover’s testimony.
Mathews, 37, is charged with first-degree murder, among other charges, in the shooting death of Edwards at the Coppertree Apartments off North Line Road.
Grover, who was awake with a cold at 5:47 a.m., said he first spotted Mathews trying to break into his wife’s apartment, which was a neighboring unit.
After the initial shooting of Edwards, Grover detailed the chase and shootout between Cpl. Gregory Piche, Edwards’ partner, and Mathews, who fled.
Edwards and Piche had been dispatched to Coppertree on a breaking-and-entering call.
Grover said he saw officers approach Mathews, and said he recognized Mathews, who talked with officers for four to five minutes.
Grover also said he had been in a “altercation” with Mathews the previous January, but he had no reason to fabricate the testimony.
Earlier in the testimony, Mathews showed no emotion when he occasionally looked at images from the scene.
Leigh Hlavaty, Wayne County deputy chief medical examiner, took the stand first. She performed the autopsy on Edwards and gave details of each of the six wounds as the jury saw pictures and diagrams of them on a monitor.
Hlavaty said the first bullet hit Edwards’ head and “was an immediately lethal wound.”
She added later that the shot was consistent with an “execution-style killing.”
Bullets also hit Edwards’ back, abdomen, hip, thigh and inner leg.
Three bullets were recovered for evidence.
Also testifying was Taylor police Cmdr. Mary Sclabassi, who said she handled the evidence, including the recovered bullets and a vial of Edwards’ blood.
In the morning session, juror No. 14 slumped in his seat, suffering an apparent seizure nearly 30 minutes into the testimony.
Taylor police Detective Cpls. Steve Schwein and Nick Hill, who are assisting the prosecution, climbed over the partition to help the man.
When the juror came to, he said he was “OK” and that he “didn’t eat anything today.”
After the hearing was stopped, rescue workers came into the courtroom and wheeled out the juror on a stretcher. He was sitting up on the stretcher and was receiving oxygen.
Afterward, Boykin said the juror was excused and that the trial would go forward with 13.
After a lunch break, a request by defense attorney Todd Perkins to Boykin about the number of Taylor officers in attendance wearing uniforms was denied.
Five uniformed officers sat in the front row behind the partition. More officers in plain clothes brought the number to at least a dozen.
In the afternoon session, the case took another turn when an allegation about a juror’s impartiality was raised.
Kaneka Jackson, Mathews’ girlfriend, said that on Wednesday, a female juror told another that Mathews “was guilty and didn’t need to be here all day.”
Agitated on the stand, Jackson admitted to smoking marijuana four days before.
“This goes to her credibility,” said Robert Stevens, Wayne County assistant prosecutor.
Boykin later agreed, saying he did not find Jackson credible.
Based on Jackson’s description, Juror No. 6 denied the statement.
“No, I did not,” she said about talking about the case.
Juror No. 13 was asked if she was asked if she was talked to about the case during lunch Wednesday.
“No, not that I recall,” she said.
The other jurors were told not to discuss the allegation with each other.
Jackson said she went to a casino Wednesday after court. She said she called Mathews’ daughter’s mother about the alleged incident.
She said she didn’t know when the call was made, despite persistent questioning, then said she told Perkins’ brother about the incident Thursday during the lunch break.
Stevens asked Boykin for a drug test for Jackson, who asked the judge if he could get a “psych test” for Stevens and smirked while staring as she walked by Stevens’ table.