The jury was expected to begin deliberating this morning in the murder trial of a Greenville man killed after being kidnapped in Troup County and robbed.
Daniel Allen faces counts of malice and felony murder along with kidnapping with bodily harm in the shooting death of Dwayne Louder. Allen is the alleged gunman in the Jan. 2, 2010, case where he and four others were involved in kidnapping Louder, going to his home, tying up his girlfriend and daughter and robbing them before taking Louder out to Smokey Road where he was shot and killed.
The four co-defendant each have already pleaded guilty in the case and testified against Allen. According to testimony, Allen was with Sade Davidson, Kelly Stephens, Arthur “Artez” Barrett and Toray Porter when they went to a home on Cedar Street. Davidson was driving and she and Stephens, who is her cousin, testified on Thursday that they did not know that Porter and Allen intended to call Louder for a supposed drug deal, nor about the plan to rob him. Stephens, who pleaded guilty to armed robbery and kidnapping with a 15-year sentence, said he thought they were going to attend a dog fight, which he and Porter had been involved in.
Barrett, who also pleaded guilty to armed robbery and kidnapping with a 15-year sentence, denied that in his testimony Monday, saying that all those involved knew what was going on.
“Everybody knew what was going to happen,” he said.
Barrett said he had counterfeit money that he was looking to get rid of and wanted to use it to buy some drugs. Porter and Allen previously had bought from Louder, he said, and called Louder out to the Cedar Street home, but Louder apparently didn’t have all the drugs he was supposed to bring, Barrett said.
Porter and Allen held Louder up. Stephens and Barrett got into his car and Stephens drove it to Louder’s home, while Allen got into the vehicle Davidson was driving.
Davidson, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping in December and is expect to receive a two years’ time-served sentence for her part in the incident, said Allen pulled out a gun and told her to follow Louder’s car. She had testified Thursday that she had picked up the group in her friend’s vehicle, but Barrett and the defense claimed she originally had picked them up in her vehicle and then switched to her friend’s after learning they were going to make a drug deal.
According to testimony, when they arrived at Louder’s home in Greenville, Allen had Stephens tie up Louder’s girlfriend and daughter, and they searched the home looking for drugs and money. After finding some and taking other items, the group left with Stephens, Porter, Allen and Louder in Louder’s car. Allen was sitting in the back seat with Louder, whose hands were tied.
Barrett was in the vehicle with Davidson and during phone conversations between cars, Barret said there was discussion of whether to shoot Louder. Barrett, Davidson and Stephens said they all asked for Louder not to be killed. After turning onto Smokey Road, Stephens and Porter got out of the vehicle and that’s when all co-defendants said that Allen shot Louder.
Allen’s defense, led by co-counsel Monica Hamlett of the Upson-Pike circuit of public defenders, in closing arguments pointed to inconsistencies in the stories between co-defendants on some details. She pointed out that Porter and Barrett said Stephens had a gun but Davidson and Stephens denied it, also whether Stephens or a held-at-gunpoint Louder drove the vehicle to Greenville.
Hamlett also questioned Davidson’s and Stephens’ claims to not know anything about the drug deal and robbery, and why they went along with it. Also, Stephens had served 12 years previously for an armed robbery conviction.
In the state’s closing arguments, senior assistant district attorney Lynda Caldwell said that the co-defendant’s stories do have inconsistencies, but all agree that Allen was the gunman. She also said others who testified that weren’t directly involved in the incident put Allen at the scenes of the crime.
Forensics also points to Allen, who co-defendants said was sitting in the back seat with Louder, Caldwell said. Forensic findings indicate all shots came from one direction, even though two guns were used. The co-defendants testified that Allen had shot Louder several times, gotten a gun from Porter, then shot Louder a few more times to “make sure he was dead.”
“All the physical evidence points to Daniel Allen,” Caldwell said. “He shot him, then he went back and shot him in the head.”
Superior Court Judge Quillian Baldwin this morning was expected to give the charge to the jury before jurors begin deliberations.