The second-degree murder trial began this week for Opelousas resident Corlious Dyson, who is accused of killing a man prosecutors said confronted Dyson at a Lafayette Parish apartment complex in 2012.
A 12-person jury with one alternate was chosen from about 50 potential jurors Tuesday in state District Judge Ed Rubin’s court. Opening statements are scheduled to begin at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, with witness testimony following.
Dyson, 31, faces life in prison if he’s convicted in the Aug. 26, 2012, death of Clement Amos. The jury alternately could decide to convict Dyson of manslaughter, which carries a sentence of up to 40 years in prison. The sentence for second-degree murder is automatic life in prison with no parole, under Louisiana law, while the judge has sentencing discretion in a manslaughter conviction.
The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office said at the time of the shooting that the 33-year-old Amos was coming to the aid of a neighbor at an apartment complex when Dyson shot him.
A more recent document, a court motion filed about a month ago by Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Simon, states that Dyson was seen “lurking” around the Hummingbird Lane apartments in the days leading up to the shooting. On the morning of the killing, Amos confronted Dyson.
“Because (Dyson) was not a resident and was a stranger to these residents, (Amos) tried to speak with the (Dyson) to find out what he was doing in the area,” the motion says. “When (Amos) attempted to do this, (Dyson) pointed a firearm at the victim, pulled the trigger multiple times, and fatally struck the victim at least three times.”
The case against Dyson rests on eyewitness testimony and DNA evidence.
According to the arrest affidavit, a witness told detectives that the man seen shooting Amos was wearing plastic gloves, and that the shooter removed the gloves and dropped them to the ground before leaving the area.
The gloves were sent to Acadiana Crime Lab for testing, and about three weeks later the lab informed Sheriff’s Office detectives that DNA found on one of the gloves was identified as belonging to Dyson, according to the affidavit.