In the moments before Clement Amos was killed in 2012, he asked a stranger what business he had outside the doors of a four-unit Hummingbird Lane apartment complex in Lafayette, where mostly older women lived.
“Then he pointed a gun in my husband’s face,” Amos’ wife, Kelly Amos, said Wednesday. Kelly Amos was the first witness to testify at the second-degree murder trial of Corlious Dyson, the man accused of killing her husband.
She told the jury of six men and six women that when she saw the gun pointed at her husband, she ran inside the couple’s bedroom to grab a handgun. But it was too late. She was still inside the home, which is across the street from the apartments, when she heard four shots.
“I ran out to find my husband,” Kelly Amos said.
“And where was he?” prosecutor Cynthia Simon asked her.
“On the ground, at the bottom of the stairs,” Kelly Amos said.
Clement Amos, “C.J.” to family and friends, was 33 and the father of three when he was killed early Aug. 26, 2012. Several of his family members and friends were in court on Wednesday and viewed a wide-screen television that displayed crime scene photos, including some of Clement Amos lying dead. The family hugged; some cried softly.
Kelly Amos said her husband went to check on their neighbors after a female tenant at the apartments called about the return of an unidentified intruder, who had frightened them for several nights running. Clement Amos crossed Hummingbird Lane, climbed the stairs to the second floor and came face-to-face with the man, who witnesses said had gold front teeth.
When police arrived minutes later the shooter was gone, and Clement Amos lay on his back at the bottom of the stairs, shot multiple times in the chest. One bullet pierced his cheek and exited the back of his head, Sheriff’s Office Sgt. John Sullivan testified Wednesday. Sullivan said investigators immediately started piecing the story together to find a motive.
“Why does the good Samaritan cross the street and get murdered?” Sullivan said, describing the case’s investigative starting point.
Dyson was identified as a suspect about two months after the murder by DNA found on one of the latex gloves the killer discarded after the shooting. After the DNA findings, two witnesses also picked Dyson out of a photo lineup.
Dyson, who is from Opelousas, faces life in prison with no chance of parole if he’s convicted of second-degree murder. A conviction for second-degree murder requires 10 guilty votes out of the 12 jurors. The jury could start deliberating Thursday.
Chad Ikerd, Dyson’s court-appointed attorney, said there are plenty of holes in the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office’s case.
Ikerd said the DNA markers found on the latex glove didn’t exactly identify Dyson; it just didn’t exclude Dyson as the one who wore the glove.
“It doesn’t mean that it’s you, but (that) it could possibly be you,” Ikerd told the jury. And both gloves had DNA from three different people, he said.
“When you have a mixture, there’s never any certainty. … At least three people touched these gloves,” Ikerd said. And nobody can say “who touched them last,” he said.
Ikerd also questioned the photo lineup, in which two witnesses from the apartment identified Dyson. One of the witnesses said Dyson “was the person who looks the most like the person I saw,” Ikerd said.
“All I can say is keep an open mind,” Ikerd told the jury.
The trial resumes Thursday morning.