Testimony Gets Underway In Capital Murder Trial After Tempers Flare

WACO (October 23, 2012)—Testimony got underway Monday afternoon in the capital murder trial of Ricky Donnell Cummings, one of four men charged in the March 2011 shooting deaths of two men outside an east Waco apartment complex.

Much of the afternoon’s testimony focused on another murder in April 2010 in which Emuel Bowers III, 21, was shot repeatedly as he sat in his car at the intersection of Rose and McKeen Streets on the edge of the campus of Waco’s Rapoport Academy.

Officers later arrested Steven Jaye Peace, Jr., on a murder warrant in connection with the killing.

According to unnamed informants cited in the arrest warrant affidavit, Peace and, Keenan Hubert, met Bowers so Hubert could buy marijuana.

Less than a year later, Hubert, 20, was killed in the shooting at Lakewood Villas along with Tyus Sneed, 17.

Cummings is charged in the shooting deaths of Sneed, a University High School student who was attending the district's alternative school, and Hubert.

They were both killed at around 11 p.m. March 28, 2011 at the Lakewood Villas apartment complex in the 1600 block of Spring Street.

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

The four victims were in a blue Ford Crown Victoria when the shooting occurred, police said.

The windows and a tire of the car were shot out by the gunfire.

In opening statements Monday morning, prosecutors said they will prove that Cummings and two other men sprayed the car in which the victims were sitting with bullets.

Each of the victims was hit eight times, prosecutors said.

The defense said the case against Cummings was built on rumor and innuendo.

After the opening statements were completed, the courtroom was emptied and 40 or more witnesses were escorted in so they could be sworn in simultaneously.

Two witnesses did not show up including the woman whom prosecutors wanted to question first.

Prosecutors requested a delay until 1 p.m. so she could be located.

State District Judge Ralph Strother issued warrants for her and the other prosecution witness.

As the courtroom was cleared Monday morning, family members of the victims and the defendant scuffled in the third floor hallway of the courthouse and then outside the courthouse.

Emotions are running high because prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the trial, for which a jury was seated earlier.

Albert Leslie Love, Jr., Tyrece Edward Richards, Ricky Donnell Cummings, Darvis Tyrell Cumings, and Kennedy Wayne Hardway, who's also known as Kevin Wayne Hardaway, all were indicted in the shooting.

Prosecutors later dismissed the capital murder charge against Richards.

Ricky and Darvis Cummings and Tyrece Richards are brothers.

Kennedy Hardway is their cousin, authorities said, and the four are closely associated with Albert Love.

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