Hendy, 29, was killed Sept. 25, 2010 in the 800 block of Southern Avenue, Southeast DC. In opening statements, prosecutors said Hendy was shot from behind— seven times— and that he likely never saw his attacker coming.
Prosecutor Sharon Donovan told jurors sworn in Tuesday morning that a man not on trial, Meeko Carraway, was that shooter. But she also told jurors that responsibility for Hendy’s death also lies squarley on the shoulders of Walker and Yates, who planned the shooting, went looking for Hendy, and placed the gun in Carraway’s hands.
“Meeko Carraway is not on trial here today. That’s not an issue for you,” Donovan said. “Darrel Hendy’s murder does not happen without Chamontae Walker and Corey Yates. This is Chamontae Walker’s and Corey Yates’ day in court.”
In opening statements, Donovan offered jurors a motive for Hendy’s shooting: When Walker and his girlfriend split up after night-long fight, Walker was boiling over with anger. He told Yates and Carraway how upset he was and Yates, hoping to make his friend feel better, called out that he saw the car of a man he knew Walker wanted dead.
That car was Hendy’s, and Walker, Yates and Carraway soon spotted him in the neighborhood. Donovan said Walker believed Hendy wanted to kill him.
“Watch this,” Carraway said before shooting at Hendy from behind, Donovan told the jurors.
Jeffery Lewis, defense counsel for Walker, said that by Donovan’s telling of the situation “sounds pretty bad.” But he warned jurors that Donovan’s opening statements were not evidence and that evidence presented at trial would not be so compelling.
Janai Reed, defense counsel for Yates, told jurors that her client had been “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is not a crime,” she said.
“Meeko Carraway shot and killed Darrel Hendy,” Reed said. “That act itself was a heinous act. But it was not Corey Yates’ act, and it was not Chamontae Walker’s act.
Carraway pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed and was sentenced to 25 years in prison in April.
Jurors are due back Wednesday morning.