For the first time, Davon Lymon told his story in open court about why he says he shot Albuquerque Police Officer Daniel Webster.
Lymon is charged with murder in the October 2015 shooting death of Officer Webster. Prosecutors for the state have spent the last 11 days calling 45 witnesses in their case-in-chief.
Lymon was called to the stand Wednesday afternoon as the defense took over the case.
Speaking of the night of the shooting, Lymon said he was afraid Webster was going to kill him because he was black, saying he was afraid he was going to be just another statistic.
“When he said, ‘I got six other officers coming to put you in the ground,’ I thought I was going to be a statistic in Albuquerque, New Mexico shot by APD. My children would have to see new footage of me, me being shot, me being killed by Albuquerque Police Department,” Lymon said.
Lymon claims on the night of the shooting, he was riding his motorcycle with an ex-girlfriend heading to dinner near Central and Tramway when Officer Webster pulled him over and cut him off in the Walgreens parking lot at Central and Eubank.
Webster stopped Lymon after running the plates on the motorcycle. Police suspected the bike was stolen. Lymon claims he bought the bike from a guy on Central for cash and thought it was legit—even though it was missing the ignition.
Lymon testified that he got scared when Officer Webster drew his weapon and chose to shoot Webster because he thought a gun was being put to his head.
“I don’t know, I have a handcuff on my arm, I don’t know that. I hear something, I’m thinking I have a gun to the back of my head and this officer is going to pull the trigger. Simple as that, I’m going to die right here, right now, and I don’t know why,” Lymon said.
Lymon also testified that he does not know Savannah Garcia—the state’s key witness who claims she was on the back of the bike making drug runs with Lymon at the time of the shooting.
On the stand, Lymon admitted he has a criminal history that includes manslaughter and heroin dealing. Talk of his criminal history has been forbidden in the trial.
Defense attorneys finished questioning Lymon just before 4:00 p.m.
As prosecutors took over, a major issue over a question a prosecutor asked became the focus of the trial. A lead prosecutor for the state, Assistant Attorney General Clara Moran questioned Lymon directly about his self-defense claim.
Judge Neil Candelaria warned Moran about her line of questioning.
“Now, you didn’t tell those officers during that SWAT situation, did you? You didn’t tell them, ‘I was afraid, I was acting in self-defense,’ you didn’t tell them that?” Moran said.
The defense argued that statement in open court made it look like Lymon did something wrong by not talking with police after he was arrested, even though it’s his right to remain silent until he goes to trial.
The defense told the judge her statements could sway the jury and were in violation of New Mexico law. In front of a packed courtroom, the judge agreed.
“The courts have said that over and over and over again,” Judge Candelaria said. “What that is done, the remedy is a mistrial.”
Judge Neil Candelaria didn’t rule on the matter Wednesday. The judge says he’ll hear arguments Thursday morning, then make a final decision on the mistrial claim before trial restarts.
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