Closing Arguments Wednesday in “First and O” Murder Trial

Closing statements are expected Wednesday morning in the murder case against Kwan Kearney and Jeremy Risper, on trial for first-degree murder while armed in the shooting death of Jamal Wilson.

Prosecutors have argued that Kearney, Risper, and Wilson, were all friends, but that arguments about testifying in a trial had broken up their group.

The group split, Prosecutor David Saybolt said, after Risper and Kearney’s brother Eric testified in court against another friend.

Wilson was fatally shot Nov. 14, 2010.

Years of friendship were forgotten in a moment when Kwan Kearney shot the gun and put a bullet through his friend’s heart,” Saybolt said in opening statements.

The government’s case was presented over the course of four days and concluded early Tuesday afternoon with the testimony of a firearms expert, a forensic scientist, and a medical examiner.

The medical examiner displayed a photo of the bullet that was extracted from Wilson’s chest during an autopsy; the firearms expert identified the bullet as a .45-caliber and said it had been fired from the Colt .45 that detectives recovered during their investigation of the crime. A total of three guns were recovered. The forensic scientist said DNA evidence had not been recovered from two of the weapons, but that Wilson’s DNA could be present on one of them, a .40-caliber Beretta.

Defense attorneys for Kearney and Risper closed their cases quickly Tuesday afternoon: Risper’s attorney, Dana Page, did not present any evidence on behalf of Risper. Kearney’s attorney, Gene Johnson, called Kearney’s mother and his girlfriend to the stand.

The women both testified that Kearney and Wilson were “best friends.”

In opening statements, Page told the jury that Risper did not shoot Wilson. At that time she argued that the prosecution’s witnesses were untrustworthy.

Closing arguments are scheduled for 10:15 Wednesday morning.

Note: Earlier Homicide Watch reports about this case misidentified the crew Kearney, Risper and Wilson were said to have belonged to. It is “First and O,” not “First and Oak.” The previous stories have been corrected.

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