Prosecutors in “21st and Vietnam” Murder Trial Rest Case After Witness Refuses to Testify

Prosecutors in the “21st and Vietnam” murder trial officially rested their case Monday after a subpoenaed witness refused— still— to cooperate.

Amber Middleton, 22, took the stand three times Monday, outside the presence of jurors, and again refused to answer questions from prosecutors.

Charging documents related to Middleton say she was subpoenaed to appear in court June 10 to testify in the trial charging Johnnie Harris and Stanley Moghalu with the shooting death of 36-year-old Steven Curtis Moore. Middleton is believed to have information relating to Moore’s murder, which occurred Dec. 3, 2011, in the 1100 block of 21st Street Northeast.

On June 29, Middleton was arrested after failing to appear in court to testify.

In court Monday, prosecutors said Middleton signed an immunity letter and was ready to testify. But at the witness stand, Middleton seemed aloof and was non-responsive, often looking into the audience and breathing heavily into the microphone.

When Judge Greene asked Middleton a final time if she would take the oath, Middleton whispered, “yes.” Prosecutors then asked her to answer simple questions such as her name and age, but Middleton again refused to talk.

I have seen this witness in court seven times and she has been absolutely resistant,” Judge Greene said Monday.

After U.S Marshals escorted a spectator from the courtroom for allegedly gesturing to Middleton, prosecutors decided to call Metropolitan Police Detective Dwayne Partman to testify about what Middleton told police she saw the evening Moore was shot and killed.

Partman testified that after Moore’s murder he interviewed Middleton. According to Partman, Middleton identified a photograph of Stanley Moghalu as “one of the males running with a gun” the evening Moore was shot and killed. Partman also said that Middleton has never recanted her identification of Moghalu.

Middleton remains in jail on a charge of obstructing justice pending a preliminary hearing scheduled August 7.

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