MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The prosecution rested its case against Davonte Barnes on Thursday night for his alleged role in the El Mula mass shooting that killed 3 and injured 20 in 2021 in Miami-Dade County.
Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez said she expected the jury to get the case tomorrow after the defense and closing statements.
Assistant State Attorney Christoper Flanagan called Miami-Dade Detective Alexandra Turnes to the stand for the third day and continued to play a video of Barnes’s interrogation, which involved Turnes and Detective Rich Raphael, on Sept. 23, 2021.
“He did not want a lawyer present,” Turnes told Attorney Robert Barrar, who is defending Barnes.
Barnes, who was not accused of firing a weapon, agreed with the detectives that the shooting at about 12:30 a.m., May 30, 2021, at the banquet hall at 7630 NW 186 St., was the result of an old conflict between two groups in the Miami-Dade areas of Miami Gardens and Opa-locka.
Barnes, who stands accused of being the shooters’ lookout, also said there was a conflict between the groups’ rappers “Savage” and “FoePack,” who Turnes said was born Antonio Jones.
“He did say that the intention was to get at ‘FoePack,’” Turnes said.
Barnes said he was with his cousin Darryl “Drac” Baker when he parked a silver Nissan belonging to his mother at the banquet hall’s strip mall on the late night of May 29, 2021.
Turnes said during her testimony in court that the suspects who fired at the crowd arrived in a black Nissan Altima, a white Nissan Path Finder, and a black Cadillac XT5.
Turnes also said Barnes, who is also known as “Dey Dey,” lied during the interrogation. At first, Barnes said the first time he had ever seen the white Nissan Path Finder was on television news.
“May 17, you see him cleaning that vehicle,” Turnes said about surveillance video she said shows Barnes with the Nissan Path Finder.
Before the interrogation, detectives had already worked on the case for months to make correlations while analyzing evidence such as surveillance videos and cell phone records.
Turnes said Barnes identified both victims and suspects during the interrogation when he admitted to watching the crowd.
“He also says he is trying to blend in,” Turnes said.
Sgt. Sergio Cremisini, with homicide, followed Turnes’s testimony with a presentation. He showed the jury a timeline with graphics that included correlations with surveillance videos, maps, cell phone data, and suspects’ photos. He said there was a three-way call with “Savage” before the shooting.
Dr. Emma Lew, the former director of the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department, also testified. She said one of the 20 victims lost their ability to walk and several of them required many surgeries.
“Mr. Owens had four gunshot wounds,” Lew said about one of the three killed.
A woman in the courtroom’s gallery started to cry after Lew said a gunshot wound to the right side of the skull killed Peterson after she survived four days in hospital.
“It was a nonsurvivable wound,” Lew said.
Lew said the bullet stayed in the back of the left side of her brain, and she was able to recover it.
Warneric “Dula” Buckner — a former Norland Senior High School football player who was facing charges for another shooting that killed a 6-year-old girl — briefly faced charges for the shooting, but prosecutors later dropped the case due to insufficient evidence.
“We are still working the case,” Turnes said.
The prosecution also played a rap video posted on YouTube, on June 24, 2021, of the rapper “Savage” showing both Barnes and Buckner.
Prosecutors charged Barnes with three counts of first-degree murder and 20 counts of first-degree attempted murder, records show.
Barra told the judge Barnes underwent a tooth extraction at about 7 a.m., on Thursday ahead of his day in court. Barnes complained of pain. Tinkler Mendez said she learned the tooth extraction had been “initiated” by Barnes, who had access to pain medications, so she was not going to delay the trial.
After the prosecution rested, Tinkler Mendez said court was in recess until 9 a.m., on Friday.
Barnes faces the possibility of life in prison without parole. Tinkler Mendez announced a death penalty waiver before the trial started.
Watch the 12 p.m. report
Watch the 3:30 p.m. report
Watch the 5:30 p.m. report
Coverage of the trial
Local10.com archives: Related stories
- May 23, 2021: 2 separate drive-by shootings kill 2, injure 3
- May 30, 2021: Total of 23 people shot, 2 killed outside banquet hall
- June 1, 2021: Families wait for updates at 4 hospitals
- June 2, 2021: Board chair blames mass shooting on public servants
- June 22, 2021: New surveillance video brings new questions
- Sept. 24, 2021: Man arrested in connection with mass shooting
- Oct. 6, 2021: Suspect, age 20, accused of shooting
- Dec. 15, 2021: Charges dropped against suspect
- May 30, 2022: Parents of victims still seeking justice
- June 29, 2023: Family ‘thankful’ after suspect charged