Testimony in Michael J. Shivers’ homicide trial continued on Friday with the Webster County jury listening to from the state health worker, investigators who interviewed the defendant, a DNA professional, and one other witness to the capturing.
Shivers, 56, of Eagle Grove, is standing trial for 2 counts of second-degree homicide and one rely of possession of a firearm as a prohibited individual in reference to a June 2020 shootout within the Nice Valley neighborhood that led to the deaths of two males.
Jamael Cox, 25, and Tyrone Cunningham, 47, each of Fort Dodge, died from their accidents sustained in a volley of bullets within the 900 block of tenth Avenue Southwest round 4:45 a.m. on June 16, 2020.
The jury heard from a witness from the capturing who had beforehand been charged with two counts of second-degree homicide.
Jeremiha Hatten, of Fort Dodge, was charged together with Michael Shivers and three different males on Nov. 10, 2020. The state later dismissed these costs in July. Hatten was then charged with one rely of intimidation with a harmful weapon, a Class D felony that carries a sentence of as much as 5 years in jail..
A number of individuals had been gathered on the residence of DarTonya Shivers, a brother of the defendant, the evening prior and the morning of the capturing to have a good time the lifetime of a recently-passed member of the family.
Hatten was on the celebration of life as a result of he’s in a relationship with Cierra Shivers, a niece of the defendant. He described the environment firstly of the gathering.
“There was nonetheless some unhappiness, however the consolation was there,” he mentioned.
Individuals began displaying up, each to the Shivers residence, and to the park throughout the road, Hatten testified.
“The whole lot was high-quality at first,” he mentioned.
Isiah Mosley got here as much as a bunch of people who Hatten was with, Hatten testified. He mentioned Mosley simply talked with individuals there, describing Mosley as “calm” and “cool.”
He mentioned Mosley was not performing aggressively in any manner and stayed for about 10 or quarter-hour.
“At a sure level, did the temper change?,” First Assistant Webster County Legal professional Ryan Baldridge requested.
“It went from completely happy parlaying, you recognize, everybody having a superb time, to finish separation and quiet,” Hatten mentioned.
Hatten testified that on the time of the capturing, Michael Shivers was in possession of a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and that he had been the one to fireplace the primary bullet.
“What occurred after he fired his AR-15?” Baldridge requested.
“Pictures started to fly,” Hatten mentioned.
He mentioned photographs had been coming from “each side,” and that he couldn’t inform how many individuals had been capturing.
Hatten additionally admitted to having a Kimber .380 handgun that evening and to firing it as soon as the bullets started to fly. He mentioned he fired his weapon 3 times.
When the mud settled and it was clear that police could be arriving imminently, Hatten mentioned, one other visitor on the occasion, Darrell Jones, informed the people who had been firing weapons to urinate on their fingers “to assist take away powder residue.”
Baldridge requested Hatten why he wasn’t fully truthful with legislation enforcement throughout his first interviews with investigators.
“I merely didn’t need my in-laws to really feel like I used to be a traitor,” Hatten mentioned..
Throughout his cross-examination, protection legal professional Christopher Kragnes implied that Hatten was mendacity on the stand with the intention to safe a positive plea cope with the state, asking him questions like “Is the ceiling crimson?” and “Is my desk blue,” each to which Hatten replied they weren’t.
“I’m simply curious as to why I can’t get you to say ‘sure’ to one thing that’s unfaithful, and the state can,” Kragnes mentioned.
“I’m simply right here to inform the reality from my perspective,” Hatten mentioned.
“What’s your perception of what occurs to you and your plea settlement if it’s decided you aren’t truthful?” Kragnes requested later.
“I am going to jail,” Hatten responded.
Iowa State Medical Examiner Dr. Dennis Klein testified on his findings throughout the autopsies of Cox and Cunningham.
Klein testified that the reason for demise for Cox was a gunshot wound to the chest. Whereas conducting his post-mortem, Klein discovered a bullet entrance wound on the aspect of Cox’s left arm. Klein confirmed the jury post-mortem images that confirmed how the bullet handed via the muscle within the arm and into the left aspect of the chest earlier than exiting via the entrance of the chest. He mentioned the bullet handed via a lung, the guts and in addition affected a part of the abdomen and enormous gut.
The post-mortem on Cunningham confirmed that he died from a “deadly stage of blood loss” as a consequence of a gunshot wound on his left leg between the knee and ankle, the health worker testified.
“Because the bullet handed via and struck bone, the bone fragmented and triggered a whole lot of injury as these fragments exited the leg,” Klein mentioned.
Assistant Iowa Legal professional Common Doug Hammerand requested if this sort of injury is in step with a high-powered rifle.
“Sure. There’s a whole lot of power in a bullet, and that power is absorbed by the tissues of the physique,” Klein mentioned.
For each males, Klein testified that the way of demise was dominated murder.
Kragnes requested if Klein was capable of decide who shot any of the projectiles recovered from the sufferer’s our bodies, or if he was capable of decide the order during which the projectiles had been fired. Klein answered that he was not.
Former Fort Dodge Police Detective Larry Hedlund, who’s now an investigator with the Webster County Legal professional’s Workplace, testified that in an interview on June 19, 2020, Michael Shivers denied having a gun at any time throughout the incident.
“He mentioned with 100% certainty that he by no means had a gun, or ammunition or touched a gun that evening,” Hedlund testified.
He mentioned the defendant described the capturing as a “simultaneous eruption of photographs” and wasn’t capable of say which aspect began it.
At one level, a number of witnesses have testified, Mosley confirmed up and there seemed to be some stress between Mosley and the people on the Shivers residence.
Whereas speaking with Hedlund days later, Michael Shivers made a number of feedback like “Perhaps each side bought bored with ready to see who was going to again down first,” Hedlund testified.
Hedlund additionally testified that Michael Shivers by no means claimed he had been performing in self-defense and that even after Hedlund informed him others had mentioned that he had a gun that evening, he continued to disclaim having a gun.
Kragnes requested Hedlund in regards to the tensions between the Shivers household and Mosely. Hedlund mentioned Michael Shivers informed him that he had realized Mosley was within the space and searching for Devontae Naylor-Foy.
“They’d some beef, and so they wished him to come back to the park,” Hedlund mentioned.
Throughout from DarTonya Shivers’ residence is the H.C. Meriwhether Park
Kragnes requested if Hedlund considers Mosley “very harmful.” Hedlund mentioned he did.
Particular Agent Chris Calloway, who was with the Iowa Division of Prison Investigation throughout the investigation, testified that he interviewed the defendant on June 22, 2020, and that the defendant had claimed that “Dinkey,” a nickname for James Davis Jr., could have fired the primary shot.
Michael Shivers additionally admitted to Calloway that he had shot a 38-caliber revolver the evening of the capturing, Calloway testified. He mentioned Shivers informed him it was a “raggedy-ass five- or six-shot revolver with tape on the deal with” and “not a really useful weapon.” The firearm has by no means been situated.
“Did the defendant say the place he was capturing at?” Hammerand requested.
“Towards some people who had been down the road,” Calloway answered, later including that the defendant particularly recognized Mosley.
“He mentioned he hoped he’d hit him, that he was a foul seed,” Calloway mentioned.
Calloway additionally testified that throughout the first interview on June 22 or the second interview on July 1 with Michael Shivers, the defendant by no means mentioned he had feared for his life or others that evening or that he had acted in self-defense. Michael Shivers additionally denied capturing the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, however admitted to holding it in some unspecified time in the future throughout the evening.
Scott Stocksleger, a DNA professional from the DCI crime lab, testified that he discovered three blood stains on the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and was capable of create a DNA profile from the samples. A lot of the DNA, he mentioned, matched Marissa Anderson, who was one other sufferer within the capturing, who survived her accidents.
Stocksleger mentioned the samples additionally held “minor contributing DNA,” however there was not sufficient DNA to find out a match with any identified samples.
Firearms professional and criminalist from the state crime lab Michael Tate testified to processing a number of spent shell casings collected from the scene, together with 5 discovered within the mattress of a pickup truck, that he was capable of positively establish as coming from the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle additionally collected on the scene.
On cross-examination, Kragnes requested which of the casings Tate was capable of decide was the one which was fired first within the incident.
“I don’t know,” Tate answered.
The trial will proceed on Monday morning. Comply with Kelby Wingert on Twitter at @KelbyWingert for dwell updates.