On the witness stand, David Shepherd sobbed and shouted, insisting he was an innocent man. That he didn’t kill 32 year-old Henry Miller. That Miller followed him and confronted him and that when Miller began to pull a gun out of his pants, he tried to stop him.
“Man, I didn’t shoot that man,” Shepherd yelled, visibly upset. “I didn’t shoot nobody.”
But prosecutors have argued for the past week that he did. They say Shepherd put a revolver into Miller’s mouth and pulled the trigger.
Miller was found by police June 3, 2012 in the 1100 block of Chicago Street Southeast. He had been shot multiple times.
Shepherd was arrested the same night. He is suspected of first-degree murder while armed and five related charges in connection with his death.
On the stand, Shepherd recounted his activities of the day of the shooting, saying that he helped Miller’s cousin, James Ingram, move, then he went to Chicago Street Southeast to pick up items he dropped off earlier that day.
James Ingram’s wife, Jayda Ingram, testified Tuesday she pulled up near Shepherd’s truck in Chicago Street Southeast with her husband and Miller.
Shepherd said he was sitting in his truck when Miller and James and Jayda Ingram arrived. He wanted to know if they still needed him to work that day, he said.
While Shepherd waited outside the passenger side of Ingram’s truck, Miller came down from the building after spending about three minutes inside and wanted to get a cigarette from the truck, Jayda Ingram testified Tuesday.
Ingram said Miller came up behind Shepherd and calmly said “Excuse me.”
But Shepherd said he heard Miller yell “Get out the way!” Shepherd told the jurors that Miller was drunk and that he told Miller he was rude.
Shepherd said Miller then began to threaten him. He testified that Miller told him, “These old-timers need to be put in their place.”
Ingram told jurors Tuesday that after Miller said “Excuse me,” Shepherd turned around and said “Don’t you see me standing here,” and told Miller to “back the f**k up.”
Ingram said she tried to calm Shepherd down by saying, “Shep, this is our cousin,” but it did not diffuse the situation and Shepherd and Miller argued as Miller walked away from the truck.
Ingram told jurors she got out of the truck to stop the two from arguing any more. Shepherd threatened to “bust his ass,” Ingram said, and Miller continued to yell back.
With James Ingram’s help, the argument dissipated and Shepherd started his truck, apparently to leave, Ingram said. Then, according to Ingram, Shepherd called from his truck and asked James to pour him a drink.
As he walked back towards Ingram’s truck, Ingram said she tried to calm Shepherd down by saying “We’re all family.”
Shepherd echoed her, Ingram said, saying “Yeah, we’re all family, but family can get they f**king head blown off.” Ingram said he then pulled out a gun and shot Miller in the mouth.
On Wednesday, Shepherd said when attempted to walk away from the argument, Miller followed him and pulled out a gun, Shepherd said.
Shepherd said that he didn’t want to get shot.
“I tried to keep [Miller] from shooting me,” Shepherd said. “We were both struggling and I tried to twist it so [Miller] could drop the gun, but the gun went off.”
The trial will resume at 9:00 a.m. Thursday before Judge Russell Canan.
Additional reporting by Timothy Ryan.