About a week before Sylvester Eddings was fatally shot in the back seat of a car in 2008, Eddings had driven Deante Young to a hospital because Young had been shot in the face, according to testimony Thursday at Christopher Pullman’s murder trial.
Then on Nov. 3, 2008, Pullman and Young picked up Eddings, who was walking to his mother’s house in Rock Island. Prosecutors say they drove Eddings to Davenport and Young, still with a bandage on his face, shot Eddings.
Both men have been convicted on first-degree murder charges. But while the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed Young’s conviction, it reversed Pullman’s conviction based on an erroneous jury instruction.
Pullman is back in a Scott County District courtroom this week on first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping charges. If found guilty on either charge, he’ll be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Prosecutors called some of Pullman’s relatives and friends to the stand Thursday.
Dennisha Lard of Rock Island testified she loaned Pullman a blue Oldsmobile Aurora days before the killing.
She also testified to visiting Young at the hospital when he was shot and how he appeared upset because “Eddings had things that belonged to him.”
Public defender Dennis Cohen of Iowa City accused Lard of changing her story, referencing her testimony at Pullman’s first trial in December 2009.
Although Lard admitted to lying to police at the time of Eddings’ death, she said she was now telling the truth.
“I’m consistent on this stand in front of that judge and this jury,” Lard said.
Prosecutors said the Aurora was found Nov. 11, 2008, in a motel parking lot in Silvis. Police pulled out the back seat and found bullets and Eddings’ blood.
The weapon used in the killing, a 9 mm handgun, was recovered Nov. 26, 2008, in Vanessa Pullman’s Rock Island apartment. She’s Christopher Pullman’s sister and she also testified Thursday.
She said she returned from playing basketball when she found police and Darnisha McQueen in her apartment. McQueen has a child with Pullman.
During a search sometime after 3 p.m., police found the handgun in a laundry basket in the bathroom.
Vanessa Pullman said earlier in the day, she took a shower and put her clothes in the basket. She said there was no weapon there at that time and no one was in her apartment when she left to play basketball.
McQueen testified she arrived at the unlocked apartment and was alone until Young showed up. Then about 3 p.m., police arrived and she said Young ran to the back of the apartment.
Under cross-examination, Cohen cited McQueen’s testimony from Pullman’s first trial, when she said Young ran to the bathroom when police arrived.
Although Assistant Scott County Attorney Julie Walton said Young is the convicted shooter, she added he couldn’t have performed the killing without the help of Pullman, who drove the Aurora on Nov. 3, 2008.