The murder trial of Yolanduis L. McDuffie, accused in the slaying of Derek Jackson, continued Wednesday and included testimony from a man who said he was in the house when the shooting began.
Jackson, 24, was killed Dec. 18, 2013, in his Rock Island home. His girlfriend and young son were upstairs when he was shot. Authorities have alleged the killing occurred during a robbery.
McDuffie faces first-degree murder charges, according to court records. He is accused of being the gunman and of conspiring with Aaron D. Henderson II, 24, of Rock Island, to commit the robbery.
Wednesday, Kamren Bolden testified that on the day of the shooting, he went with Henderson and McDuffie to Jackson's house. He thought they were going to purchase marijuana.
When they arrived, they went inside with Jackson, Bolden said. McDuffie then pulled out a gun and someone shouted to “get down.”
“I ducked,” Bolden, who was a juvenile when the shooting happened, said. “I ran. I got to the door. I heard shots.”
He said he did not see the actual shooting.
Bolden said he did not have a gun with him that day and did not see Henderson carrying one either. He told the court room he was unaware of the gun until he saw McDuffie with it.
During his testimony, Bolden said he served a sentence for obstruction of justice related to the investigation of Jackson's shooting. He was charged after an initial interview with the detectives in which he said he was not involved in the case.
Rock Island Police Detective Chad Sowards testified Wednesday that Bolden was interviewed several times.
In the first interview, Bolden said he was not there, but in the second interview he said McDuffie had the handgun, Detective Sowards said. Bolden would go on to identify McDuffie in a photo lineup.
Bolden testified as a defense witness in the 2015 trial of Henderson, who is his cousin, and said then that McDuffie had the gun.
Henderson was found guilty of one count of first-degree murder based on the accountability theory — that people planning a crime are responsible for each other's conduct. He was found innocent on a second first-degree murder charge based on the accusation that he was the gunman. Henderson was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Bolden also confirmed on Wednesday that there is a felony case pending against him in Rock Island County.
Herb Schultz, Bolden's attorney in that case, also testified.
Schultz said there was no plea deal on the table in the felony case, but he believed Mr. Bolden would get probation. He said he was basing that on his client's record and his experience in the courts.
Bolden, while being questioned by the defense about what he remembered about specific events in the investigation or of his own testimony, repeatedly said he did not remember.
One of those instances was a statement he made during Henderson's trial that he also saw Jackson with a gun before the shooting. Another was a statement he made during a police interview after he learned he would be charged with obstruction. He asked detectives what he had to do to get out.
Detective Sowards said in his testimony that he did not remember exactly what was said, but when showed a report of the interview, confirmed Bolden said something like that.
During that interview, Bolden was not coached about what he could do to get out, Detective Sowards said.
Detective Sowards also testified that when the suspect gun was recovered, it had fingerprints on it, but they were not McDuffie's. He said, however, it was not unusual in police work to find that a firearm had been passed around.
Detective Sowards also said there were images recovered from Mr. Henderson's telephone that showed Henderson holding a similar gun.
The gun was recovered in Iowa shortly after Henderson’s conviction, according to authorities.
Proceedings are expected to resume this morning with more state witnesses.