Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Wheeler said Little initiated the physical confrontation after he felt disrespected because Cain called him a fake Muslim. But Little’s defense attorney argues that Cain swung a large metal pole at Little first and asked jurors to consider Cain’s history of violence.
Now it’s up to jurors to decide which version to believe and how the story will end. Little, 37, faces charges of second-degree murder while armed and carrying a dangerous weapon in connection with Cain’s stabbing death on June 25, 2012.
Prosecutors say that Little went with his wife and another person to get their car fixed by Cain at the 1500 Block of Kenilworth Avenue Northeast on June 25, 2012. There, Cain and Little got into an argument about who was a “real Muslim.”
Monica Smith testified she was on her phone as the argument between Little and Cain began. Smith told jurors that Cain called Little “a b**ch motherf**ker”. But when pressed to remember whether Little was also cursing, Smith said, “I don’t recall who was saying what. I don’t feel safe saying one or the other.”
According to Wheeler, then Little got angry, exited his car, and approached Cain saying, “I’m tired of your sh*t,” and “Respect me, I’m a man.”
Smith testified that as Little walked, not ran, toward Cain and said, “I’m tired of all your sh*t. I told you to go ahead with that mess.” Smith says when the two men met, Cain pushed and struck at him first. Smith could not recall in court whether or not Cain used a closed fist.
Wheeler told jurors that the two men began pushing each other, and then Cain started to walk away and dropped his cane. That’s when Little pulled out a knife, according to Wheeler.
Defense attorney Jason Downs told jurors that one witness saw Cain grab a long metal pole first and that two eyewitnesses said that Cain was swinging a long metal pole before he was stabbed.
“He wasn’t trying to play stickball,” said Downs, “he was trying to do bodily harm.”
Robbie Watts testified that she lived in the same neighborhood as Cain, a neighborhood where Cain had a reputation for being “outspoken.”
He was “a violent type of person that would do anything to you,” Watts said, adding that it was both her opinion and the neighborhood’s opinion.
Wheeler warned the jury against making a judgment based on Cain’s criminal history. On the night that he died, Little and the two eyewitnesses were all physically very close to Cain during the altercation, but none were hurt by him, according to Wheeler.
Cain “may not be who you want for dinner,” said Wheeler, “But he has a right to live.”
The jury will continue deliberations Wednesday.