TRIAL: State claims Tyrone Compton ‘organized’ deadly Oct. 2020 drive-by
Edwin Davidson, Jr., 17, was shot and killed at home on Orchard Loop in Wardville
RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - State witness testimony is underway in the trial of Tyrone Compton, 23, of Cheneyville, who is charged with second-degree murder for the Oct. 20, 2020, deadly shooting of Edwin Davidson, Jr., 17.
Compton is the last of the five suspects who were charged in connection to the shooting of Davidson at a home on Orchard Loop in Wardville.
According to the Pineville Police Department, the shooting was tied to an earlier narcotics transaction in which a portion of the group arrested was shorted Xanax. While evidence showed Davidson was present for the transaction, police and Assistant District Attorney Lea Hall, who is prosecuting the case, have said Davidson was not part of it.
The State alleges that Compton was part of the group who participated in a drive-by shooting at a home on Orchard Loop where they believed the dealer was staying, and that Davidson was not the intended target.
If convicted on the second-degree murder charge, Compton faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
During opening arguments, Assistant District Attorney Lea Hall told the jury that, not only did Compton participate in the drive-by, he initiated it.
“He organized a drive-by shooting over a slight where he felt he got ripped off on a drug deal,” said Hall.
That drug deal, as we have learned in previous trials of co-defendants, involved a purchase of 13 Xanax, where the group got half the amount and wadded up paper. Hall said evidence will show that, as a result of the perceived slight, a plan was hatched to target the dealer’s home.
“That’s where Compton and his cronies shot three guns inside the house,” said Hall.
As we learned in the trial for another co-defendant, Andrew Mayo, it was Mayo’s bullet that killed Davidson. But, Hall said ballistics evidence would match three weapons - one of which he claimed Compton was carrying.
Compton’s defense attorney, Phillip Robinson, gave a brief opening argument, saying “the state will fail in its burden” to prove that Compton committed second-degree murder.
By a lunchtime break, the jury already heard testimony from Dr. Yen Van Vo, a pathologist, and a handful of Pineville Police Department officers. The trial will continue into Friday, May 19.
As it pertains to the other co-defendants, in March 2023, Terrence Armstrong was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder. In November 2022, Andrew Mayo was convicted on the same charge. Pamela Smith, who was the driver during the drive-by, was sentenced in June 2021 to 20 years in prison for a plea to conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. Kaitlyn Carlino, who provided the vehicle and sat in the passenger seat, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in August 2021 and is awaiting sentencing on July 13.
David Karst is the co-counsel for the defense. Judge Greg Beard is presiding.
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