P.T. Cole Park murder trial to continue Monday

The first of three murder trials connected to last summer's shooting at P.T. Cole park is expected to wrap up this week following several days of intense testimony. Bendy is one of the men accused of taking part in a gang-related shootout, the crossfire of which killed 20-year-old Briana Young at Tyler's P.T. Cole Park on July 30, 2013.

Day 1's opening arguments saw District Attorney Matt Bingham describe bendy to the jury as a gang member who lawlessly took a public park and made it a death trap. A gang expert from the Tyler Police Department testified that Bendy is a documented member of the Westside Rolling 60s gang in Tyler. Young's son's aunt, who was at the park the night of the shooting, testified that Young was still alive and gasping for air several minutes after being shot in the chest and leg.

Day 2 consisted largely of testimony from two self-described gang members. Rakheem Goldstein of the Westside Rolling 60s is Bendy's co-defendant in Young's alleged murder. He said he was there the night of the shooting, described the events, and told jurors Bendy did fire a gun into the park. Goldstein said a rival gang member, K.J. Wilson Hurd, was the target of the shooting. A friend of Hurd's named Darrian Lee, also describing himself as a gang member, took the stand to recount his version of the shooting.

Day 3's major testimony came from a network engineer employed by Sprint. Bendy's phone at the time of the shooting ran on Sprint's network. The engineer testified that it's highly likely Bendy's phone was in the near vicinity of the park at the time of the shooting. A Tyler Police officer testified that she was the one who collected clothing from Young's three-year-old son at the scene because it was bloody. She said the boy was upset after having seen his mother killed in the park that night.

On day 4, the man who prosecutors put on the witness stand to testify that he helped to hide one of the guns in the shooting surprised the court by admitting that he also supplied the AK-47 involved in the attack. It led to a lengthy cross-examination by Bendy's defense attorneys who attempted to shake the man enough that he would change his story, casting doubt upon his version of events. He stuck to his original story throughout.


It is expected that the prosecution will rest Monday. The defense would take over after that.


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