BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A Calhoun County judge is expected to take a few days to decide whether there is enough evidence to send two people to trial for the murder of a 2-year-old.
Nelson and Smith were in court for their preliminary hearing Thursday as the prosecution and defense cross-examined witnesses. The day began with Battle Creek Police Department Detective Brandin Huggit on the stand as attorneys asked him about the bullets, guns and phones collected as evidence.
A main point of contention was intent. Investigators say neither Kai nor his family were the intended targets and that the shooters were aiming for people who lived in another apartment in the same house.
“There was no evidence presented here whatsoever — I think it was exactly the opposite, judge — that anything intentional happened here,” Nelson’s attorney Lee Graham said. “I think all of the … testimony that you heard is this was a mistake, whoever committed it. It was just a terrible, sad mistake that Kai Turner was killed. Whomever shot that bullet, it was a one in a billion shot that hit him, but he was not the intended target.”
“Just because they killed the wrong person, it doesn’t take away premeditation, deliberation,” Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert argued. “They murdered a small child who wasn’t even a target. So as far as premeditation is concerned … we don’t have to prove premeditation, but it’s there.”
Judge Paul Beardslee said he would consider everything presented at the hearing and make his decision soon. Gilbert expected it to take a few days or perhaps a week.
Nelson and Smith were arrested a few days after the shooting. Also arrested was a third man who has not yet been formally charged in connection to the death. Gilbert told News 8 on Thursday that the investigation involving that third suspect continues.