After narrowly avoiding a mistrial, it was prosecutors spending hours Friday trying to prove to the jury that Davon Lymon murdered Albuquerque Police Officer Daniel Webster so he could avoid going back to prison.
Lymon continued on the witness stand Thursday, in the twelfth day of proceedings in his murder trial for the October 2015 shooting that resulted in Officer Webster’s death.
He claims Webster was too aggressive in the stolen motorcycle stop and didn’t have the right to point a loaded gun at him, and says he feared he’d be shot because he’s black.
Thursday, Lymon tried to convey his regret and remorse for shooting Officer Webster, saying that he didn’t intend to kill the officer.
However, prosecutors don’t buy Lymon’s self-defense claims. At times, it was clear that prosecutors’ questions irritated Lymon.
“And you waited for the opportunity when he was most vulnerable, and had both of his hands occupied, to shoot him in the face?” prosecutor Clara Moran asked.
“I’ve stated and your experts have stated, that they don’t know which shot Officer Webster got hit in the face, so if you would please refrain from keep saying, ‘I shot him in the face,'” Lymon responded.
Lymon was on the stand for about five hours Thursday, often repeating his claim that he shot Officer Webster in self-defense. Lymon argued that he thought the officer put a gun to the back of his motorcycle helmet after a traffic stop.
Webster was stopping a suspected stolen motorcycle. Prosecutors went through Officer Webster’s lapel video with Lymon, trying to prove that for 50 seconds, Webster was trying to cuff Lymon with his gun back in his holster and that Lymon could see Webster no longer had a gun in his hands.
“It’s right at that moment where he’s about to close your handcuff on the bike, that’s the moment you make your move and you shoot him, is that right?” Moran asked.
“No,” Lymon responded.
Through their cross-examination, prosecutors often asked Lymon questions in a way that had Lymon on the defensive, trying to assert that Lymon had an intent to kill from the moment he was stopped.
“And you didn’t give Officer Webster any warning that you were going to kill him did you?” prosecutor Clara Moran asked.
“I did not try and kill Officer Webster,” Lymon said.
“You would agree that you pulled the trigger four times with the intention of killing Officer Webster?” Moran asked.
“I pulled the trigger on the handgun four times to protect myself,” Lymon said.
Prosecutors also played jailhouse calls in court Thursday.
In one call between Lymon and a friend, they’re heard joking about the phrase, “this is how I control you.” Officer Webster can be heard saying that to Lymon on the lapel video before the shooting.
Lymon denied that the phone call was about the lapel video.
In the re-direct questioning by Lymon’s defense attorney Thursday, Lymon was asked about his feelings on the night of the shooting.
“At first confusion, because I was getting pulled over, then shock that he put the car in front of me the way he did, then terror, then pain, then terrified again,” Lymon said.
The defense rested its case Thursday. Closing arguments are expected Friday, then the case should go to the jury.
Judge Neil Candelaria started Thursday’s proceedings by taking up a motion from the defense to declare a mistrial.
The motion stemmed from a question asked by the prosecution about Lymon’s self-defense claim around the time of his arrest. Defense attorneys argued that the question was prejudicial for a jury to hear.
Ultimately, Judge Candelaria denied the motion, but admonished the prosecution for asking the question that sparked the conflict.
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