Testimony will continue today starting at 8:30 a.m.
Collins is charged with the murder of Chelsei Embry, the attempted murder of LaToya Monique Embry, and the felony assault of Jalysa and Kaylon Embry.
Defense witnesses ranged from an alleged participant in the fight that lead up to the shooting, a one-time alleged victim and an 11-year-old boy.
Thursday’s first witness was Kendra “Precious” Garrett, who by all accounts was on the porch at 131 Westgate with Collins, 15 at the time, his sister Greticia “Woochie” Collins, 16, and their cousin Taraven “Ray-Ray” Ragland, 13 at the time.
By the accounts given earlier this week by the state’s witnesses, Kaylon Embry got into a fight with Woochie. Garrett was accused of hitting Kaylon in the head with a table leg, at which point she became engaged in a fight with Jalysa.
Garrett denied this on the stand, saying she stayed on the porch, but that Ragland had gotten involved in trying to save her cousin.
All accounts also agree that the defendant fired one to three warning shots before the fight really began.
Beyond that, there was little common ground. Garrett, for instance, said Monique was actually poking Cartravious in the face while mocking him after the warning shots, a detail none of the other defense witnesses picked up on. She also testified that at least eight people were beating Woochie with fists and bottles, kicking her and stomping on her, and that Monique and Cassandra “Toot-Toot” White both had guns. She said White and Monique fought over the gun, that White accidentally shot herself in the hand during the scuffle, and that Monique fired three shots in the air.
On cross examination, district attorneys Christina Kilgore and Jake Argo produced Garrett’s statement to police, taken hours after the incident, where she said only one girl was fighting with Woochie and that the defendant had fired into the crowd.
She also said that Chelsei was running toward a car trying to get out when she fell, an assertion she made in the statement but not her testimony Thursday.
Testimony was also taken from a neighbor who went to see the fight but left after the warning shots without seeing the fight or shootings.
Dr. Charles Lambert, who treated the surviving victims in the emergency room of Citizens Baptist Medical Center, testified that he had made a mistake on Monique’s discharge form, noting she had two separate bullet wounds, one of which entered her back on the left side and lodged in her chest. The report said the entrance wound was on the right side of her chest.
He put in a chest tube and discharged her after about a week, but was unable to extract the bullet.
Another neighbor testified that a total of four people attacked Woochie, but she did not know all of them. She did not see Chelsei in the fight, and did not see any other guns. She also said she did not see Garrett or Ragland involved in the fight.
Jessica McKenzie testified that there had been a verbal argument about three hours before the fight between Woochie and Monique, but said she was not present for the subsequent fight or shootings.
The next defense witness was Cassandra “Toot-Toot” White, who was initially named as Cartravious’s fifth victim. While she injured her hand in a fall while running away from the shooting, there was no evidence that the injury was caused by a bullet, which is why the charge naming her as a victim was dropped. Unlike most of the other people involved on that side of the fight, White actually lived in Westgate at the time.
White’s version of events gibed with the testimony of the states witnesses Tuesday and Wednesday. The fight was initially between Woochie and Kaylon, with Garrett and Jalysa getting involved nearby. Monique, who was on the no trespass list, was dropped off in the front of the project, and did not actually enter until after the warning shots had been fired.
Ragland testified that her cousin had been swarmed after Cartravious fired the warning shots, and she had waded in and tried to help. One person hit her in the head with a beer bottle, but she said she was too occupied to keep up with the next shots fired or how many times she herself had been struck.
Ragland also said she did not see any other guns, but insisted that her cousin had been kicked and stomped numerous times, although she could not testify to any visible injuries.
She also said she did not specifically remember seeing Chelsei, although she did not know her at the time.
The next witness, an 11-year-old said he witnessed the incident from the basketball court when he would have been eight. The shooting took place around midnight on a Tuesday.
He testified that he saw Monique attack Greticia (his cousin) and saw Cartravious fire one warning shot, then set the gun down on the ground and walked over and began pulling people off of his sister.
“Toot-Toot,” whom he initially misidentified as Tameka Chatman, but later identified in person, had accidentally shot herself in the hand trying to get her gun out of purse, and it was “Toot-Toot” that actually shot Chelsei, according to this witness.
He could not explain how he was able to see White shoot herself in the hand through a wall of mailboxes.
He did not see anyone else pick up the gun Cartravious had discarded. The defendant initially told police he had walked up the railroad tracks and thrown it into the woods, but later said he gave it to someone he knew only as “Meat.”