The gun used to kill Daniel Smith in north Baton Rouge in October 2010 was discovered in Jarvis McKinley Fleming’s home two weeks after the slaying, and the accused killer’s DNA was found on bullet casings collected at the crime scene, a prosecutor told a jury Wednesday.
Those five casings were fired from the 9mm pistol found hidden under the bed of Fleming’s mother at their Hollywood Street residence, East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Jermaine Guillory added.
Baton Rouge police Officer Walter Edwards testified the gun was located at the home Nov. 7, 2010, shortly after Fleming shot himself in the leg at the residence.
Smith, 23, was killed in the predawn hours of Oct. 23, 2010, in a high-crime area.
Fleming, standing trial on a second-degree murder charge in Smith’s killing, also is charged with second-degree murder in the Aug. 2, 2013, fatal shooting of Donald Ray Walls. At the time of the Walls shooting, Fleming was free on $80,000 bail and awaiting trial in the death of Smith.
Fleming, 23, faces an automatic sentence of life in prison if convicted as charged in the Smith case. The trial is scheduled to resume Thursday in state District Judge Chip Moore’s courtroom.
Guillory told jurors Wednesday that Smith, who was a manager at a Baton Rouge McDonald’s restaurant, was shot eight times on Osage Street near Plank Road, and he argued that the killing was a “cold-blooded murder” — not an accidental or self-defense shooting.
“His killer is among us,” Guillory said, turning and pointing at Fleming, who sat at the defense table with his attorney, James Rothkamm.
Rothkamm, in his own opening statement to the jury, asked the panel to consider all the evidence they will hear and not rush to judgment.
“This is a horrible case. Someone is dead. I understand you want to blame someone. But blame the right person,” he said.
Smith’s body was found inside a running car across the street from a car wash, where the shell casings were scattered on the ground. The driver’s window was rolled down and the front passenger door was open.
Forensic DNA analyst Jeremy Dubois testified Fleming’s DNA was found on the casings, but he acknowledged under questioning by Rothkamm that he cannot say who pulled the trigger.
In the shooting death of Walls, 26, two other men — Julius Thomas and Darren Paul — are charged with second-degree murder along with Fleming. Police have said Walls was shot dead during a drug deal in a north Baton Rouge mobile home park.
Fleming allegedly drove Thomas and Paul to the trailer park to sell marijuana to Walls and another man, then drove an injured Paul to a hospital.
As part of the conditions of bail in 2010, Moore had ordered Fleming to wear a GPS tracking ankle bracelet, according to online court records. But when deputies arrested Fleming in the 2013 shooting, they found that his monitoring bracelet had been removed and discarded.