GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A reluctant witness took the stand Wednesday in the trial of Jeanette Davis and her brother, Jountay Davis, in the shooting death in February of a 42-year-old father after a traffic accident.
The siblings are accused in the shooting of Lance Byers on a Grand Rapids street in February. Jeanette Davis is accused of second-degree murder and felony firearm. Jountay Davis is charged with being an accessory after the fact to second-degree murder and being a second-time habitual offender.
The shooting happened on Lafayette Avenue SE at State Street in the Heritage Hill neighborhood just after 8 a.m.
The reluctant witness, Kristen Duimstra, is the mother of Jountay Davis' child. She testified about what happened immediately after the shooting.
Duimstra testified they both came to her Kentwood home and that they both were visibly upset. She said they told her their Lincoln Navigator had been rear-ended and that Jountay started fighting with the man who hit them -- Lance Byers.
"I said what happened and (Jeanette) said, 'I don't know, I don't know what happened. I think I might have shot him.'"
She said Jountay told her he stopped when he heard a gunshot, hopped back into the Navigator and drove away from the scene. Duimstra said Jountay didn't learn his sister had fired the gun until after they had already driven away.
"(Jeanette) said the man was angry and they began arguing and then she saw Jountay push him out of his face. And she said she tried to yell to stop, and she said that she was scared and they weren't stopping, so she pulled out the gun and fired to scare them and stop them from fighting."
Eventually, Duimstra said Jeanette told Jountay she was sorry. "He said what happened and she was saying how sorry she was and how she was crying and he said what happened and she said, 'I was scared and I shot to try to make you guys stop fighting.'"
But that conflicts with what Jeanette's attorney James Malinowski said in his opening statements . He said Jeanette shot Byers only because he allegedly had put her brother in a headlock and she feared for her brother's safety.
The prosecution wrapped up their presentation with testimony from Kent County Medical Examiner David Start.
He said Byers body was turned, possibly toward the inside of his car. The bullet struck him under his right armpit, traveled through both lungs and his aorta.
The defense will present their case on Thursday. Judge Paul Sullivan expects the jury to have the case no later than Friday.
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