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Capital Murder Trial Defense Witnesses Face Tough Cross Examination

Ricky Donnell Cummings in court. (File)

Ricky Donnell Cummings in court. (File)

WACO (October 30, 2012)--Defense lawyers began presenting their case Tuesday morning in the capital murder trial of Ricky Donnell Cummings, 23, of Waco, but some of their first witnesses faced tough cross examination.

Cummings is charged in the March 2011 deaths of Keenan Hubert, 20, and Tyeus Sneed, 17, both of whom died in a hail of bullets as they sat inside a car parked at the Lakewood Villas apartment complex.

Marion Bible, then 22, and Deontrae Majors, then 20, were wounded in the shooting.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The first defense witness Tuesday morning was Dr. William "Lee" Carter, a psychologist, who explained borderline personality disorder as the defense tried to impeach the testimony of prosecution witness Nicole Henry, who testified earlier that she saw Cummings trying to clear and re-chamber his gun outside the door of her apartment moments after the murders.

Bible and Majors ran into Henry's apartment after they were wounded by gunfire in the shooting.

Carter reviewed Henry's records and testified Tuesday that while she's been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, she's capable of truthful testimony.

Later Sheila Bowers, mother of murder victim Emuel Bowers, took the stand.

Prosecutors claim the March 2011 shooting was in retaliation for her son's murder the year before.

She testified that in the hours and days after her son was gunned down, she exchanged multiple text messages and phone calls about her son's murder with Cummings and his friends.

Bowers left the stand after an argumentative exchange with prosecutor Greg Davis.

The final defense witness Tuesday was Jasmine Davidson, Cummings' girlfriend, who testified there are no gangs or gang activity in East Waco, in an attempt to counter a prosecution claim that Cummings is affiliated with a gang.

Prosecutors questioned her about tattoos that Cumming has of the number "5" and of five-sided stars, which are associated with street gangs.

She was also questioned about a .40-caliber handgun that police found in Cummings car when he was arrested during a traffic stop on April 1, 2011, the same day the gun was purchased.

She said it was hers and said she had bought it in order to complete a concealed handgun permit course and for target practice.

She said she consulted with Cummings before buying the gun

Prosecutors also asked Davidson about another handgun she and Cummings had used for target practice.

Davidson testified she and Cummings had fired a .45-caliber handgun, which was the same type of weapon used in the murders.

Prosecutors asked if the .45 belonged to Davidson and she said it didn't and said she doesn't know to whom it belonged.

The jury was dismissed just before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday because of scheduling issues with other witnesses.

District Judge Ralph Strother said Wednesday would also likely be a half-day because of a death in the family of one of the jurors.


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