Crime

Trial begins in Lexington shooting that killed 16-year-old during Lexington block party

When police arrived at the scene of a 2017 shooting in Lexington’s East End, they found a 16-year-old boy laying on the ground with a bullet wound to the head and dozens of kids gathering around him.

On Monday, arguments and testimony began in the trial of Raymond Smead, 18, who is charged with murder in the shooting. Smead was 16 years old on the night of Sept. 2, 2017, when 16-year-old Floyd Matthew Dunn III was fatally shot at the intersection of Chestnut Street and East Sixth Street.

Floyd had been with a group of kids at a nearby block party when they walked to get drinks and snacks from a market in the area, attorneys said during opening arguments Monday. Floyd was standing outside the market when shots were fired into his group just before 11:30 p.m.

Smead’s lead defense attorney, Erica Roland, told the jury during opening arguments Monday that her client had not been the one to shoot Floyd.

Smead and two other juveniles, Herbie Booker and Dontaevius Bowie, were walking in the same area as Floyd and his group when something happened, Roland said. Roland argued that Floyd and his group of friends had not fired any shots or done anything wrong, but that Booker and Bowie had approached them and fired into the crowd.

Roland told the jury that Smead had not fired any shots, and instead had run away when Booker and Bowie began firing at the group of kids. She said a witness reported that the shooter who’d killed Floyd was wearing a black sweatshirt. Bowie was caught on surveillance camera earlier in the day wearing a black sweatshirt.

Booker and Bowie were each initially charged with murder in Floyd’s death, but they both took a deal in September and pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, according to court records. Both are set to testify in Smead’s trial.

Assistant commonwealth’s attorney Eric Finke said during opening arguments that Smead became a suspect in Floyd’s death in January 2018, after Smead’s mother received a grazing bullet wound to the head. Smead’s mother survived, and is set to testify in his trial.

While investigating the shooting that injured Smead’s mother, detectives spoke to Smead. Smead told the investigators that he and his friends had been to the block party on Sept. 2, 2017, and that he had been involved in the shooting, Finke said.

Detectives also recovered Facebook messages Smead had sent to a friend on the day of the shooting on East Sixth Street in which he asked for a gun to commit a robbery, Finke said.

A Lexington activist, two police officers and paramedics worked to help Floyd after he was shot, but he soon died of his injuries at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. He was a sophomore in high school and was known to his family as Little Floyd, his father testified Monday. Several friends and family members of Floyd were in the courtroom.

The shooting happened near the home of Anita Franklin, who has been advocating against gun violence since the 2014 shooting death of her own son, Antonio Franklin. Franklin was inside on the phone with a friend when she heard what she thought were sounds from the Red, White & Boom concert that was going on that night at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

The sounds were loud enough that the friend Franklin was on the phone with heard them, and the friend told her they were gunshots, Franklin said Monday. Franklin looked outside and saw a flash, then looked down to see someone lying on the sidewalk.

Franklin’s friend on the phone told her not go outside, but she went out anyway and began to take the vitals of the boy on the ground. Franklin, who is a nurse, said that the boy was in a fetal-type position and that the sidewalk seemed to be holding pressure to a wound on his head.

Franklin worked on the boy and tried to keep the crowd of juveniles from moving him until police arrived, she said Monday.

One of the police officers who arrived first on scene, Shane Slark, said that there was a crowd of 25 to 30 kids near Floyd, and that there were other kids who were lingering elsewhere in the area. Detective James Gilbert, who was a patrol officer at the time of the shooting, testified that none of the kids in the area seemed to be a threat so none were patted down for weapons.

Slark testified that when he first got to the scene, he and another officer held pressure to the wound on Floyd’s head and performed chest compression until paramedics arrived. They were able to bring Floyd’s pulse back, Slark said.

Franklin testified in court Monday that she had been outside getting stuff from her car just 10 minutes before shots rang out. After Floyd was taken to the hospital that night, Franklin learned that one of the shots fired had hit her car.

Smead’s trial is expected to continue until Wednesday or Thursday.

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