Parents of Danielle Sampson testify in accused shooter's trial
Updated On: Mar 12 2013 06:13:10 PM EDT
The parents of the teenage girl who remains in a coma after being shot in crossfire while leaving an Orlando church last year testified on Tuesday in her accused shooter's trial.
Opening arguments began on Tuesday in the trial for 20-year-old Tyrone Mosby, who's charged in the shooting of 16-year-old Danielle Sampson.
Danielle's parents, Alma and Justin Fletcher, testified on Tuesday that they were driving home when they heard a series of loud bangs. When he heard the bangs Justin Fletcher told his family to "get down" and then pulled over. At first neither of the Fletchers realized that Danielle was hurt, they told jurors.
After calling her name several times, Alma Fletcher said she realized something was wrong because her daughter, who was laughing and watching a DVD in the backseat, now wasn't moving or answering questions.
Also testifying on Tuesday was Mosby's intended target, Chester Joseph, according to the state. Joseph said that after catching Mosby robbing his house, he tried to chase Mosby down and that's when Joseph said Mosby started shooting at him.
"If he hadn't a hit that little girl, if he would have just shot at me we wouldn't be here right now. I wouldn't have called the police. Period. I would have just handled it the street way," Joseph said on Tuesday.
The defense said Joseph can't be trusted because he is a convicted felon with a house full of drugs and that Joseph has changed his story several times and is trying to protect himself.
"Let me tell you I lied a lot. I lied a lot," Joseph said. "But when I told the truth, the truth was the truth."
Jurors were selected on Monday as Danielle watched from a conference room.
Danielle was 15 years old and a sophomore at Apopka High School when she and her family got caught in crossfire as they left church July 29 in their van. Danielle was shot in the head by a stray bullet and now has severe brain damage.
Police said Mosby, who was 19 at the time of the shooting, was one of several people who had burglarized a home and shot at the homeowner as they ran away.
If found guilty, Mosby faces up to life in prison.