The Edmond Sun

July 20, 2012

Defense rests in mall shooting trial

By Dylan Goforth
CNHI News Service

OKLA. CITY — Testimony concluded Thursday morning in the trial of Dondray Fowler, and deliberations will begin today.

Defense attorneys for Fowler called their final two witnesses Thursday, as the trial moved toward its final stage. Fowler is charged with the April 10, 2010 slaying of Jarrod Reed, 17, and four counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon.

When testimony concluded, defense attorneys, Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore and Associate District Judge Norman Thygesen began work on finishing jury instructions.

The instructions will be read to jurors today after closing arguments conclude.

“Jury instructions include things like telling jurors the difference between direct and circumstantial evidence, and how to evaluate different evidence,” defense attorney L. Wayne Woodyard said. “They’ll be told things like why the defendant (Fowler) wasn’t required to testify on his own behalf and how they shouldn’t hold that against him.”

Sonya Parker, Fowler’s aunt, and Julie Walker, Fowler’s probation officer from a previous burglary conviction, took turns on the stand Thursday.

Walker said Fowler had been doing well on probation, and they had discussed him potentially moving to another county or state.

Walker said they had at least two conversations regarding Fowler potentially moving. Walker said Fowler told her three days before the shooting he had been threatened by “the Jones twins,” two alleged northsiders.

“(Fowler) said his grandmother’s house had been shot up, and we talked about relocating to another county,” Walker said.

Parker, whom Fowler lived with at the time of the 2010 Arrowhead Mall shooting, testified Fowler had been in at least two previous altercations with alleged “northside” gang members in the two years prior to the mall shooting.

During one alleged encounter in 2008, Parker said she had been at the hospital with her mother when she got a call telling her to come home. When Parker got home, she said she saw “20-something” boys chasing Fowler and unnamed others.

During another encounter, also in 2008, Parker said alleged northsiders stood outside her mother’s house, yelling at Dondray to come outside. Parker said she went outside with a baseball bat to tell those boys to leave.

Parker testified she didn’t see Fowler, Anton Nelson or Michael Mayberry in the days following the shooting, though she said all three lived at her house at times before the shooting.

Nelson was charged with one count of accessory to first-degree murder and five counts of accessory to assault and battery with a deadly weapon.

Nelson was shot and killed Dec. 9, 2011, at 21st and Tennyson streets. No arrest has been made in his slaying.

Mayberry originally was charged with first-degree murder, but charges were dropped as investigators discovered Fowler was probably the person who pulled the trigger that killed Reed and injured five others.

Mayberry was charged in federal court last month with being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

REACH Dylan Goforth at 918-684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.