Sunday, 23 October 2011

Witness in murder trial decides to face jail rather than say what he knows in open court

Jovantae Ivy-Vance Martin Broyles.jpg 
Jovantae Ivy-Vance, left, and Martin Broyles
GRAND RAPIDS – After looking around the packed courtroom and enduring the stare of the man accused of murder, Marquis Desaun Lee decided to take his chances with a perjury and contempt of court charges.
Lee was supposed to testify in the probable cause hearing today in a case where teens Jovantae Ivy-Vance and Martin Luther Broyles are facing charges related to the 2009 shooting death of 15-year-old Nate Jones and the injury-causing shooting of fellow 15-year-old James Key.
Ivy-Vance is charged with murder and Broyles is charged with attempted murder. Both also face felony firearm charges from the June 11, 2009 incident.
A woman testified she was getting gas around 3 p.m. at the triangle where Kalamazoo and Fuller avenues meet up with Boston Street SE. The Press is not naming the woman.
In Grand Rapids District Court, the woman said she saw teens on bicycles meet up with teens walking along the street when two of the males on bikes began firing at the walkers who turned and ran.
She said one of the young men took a few steps, then hit the ground while she stopped the other youngster, who was shot in the arm, as he ran toward the gas station.
She said she and the injured, weeping teen walked to where Jones was sprawled out and dying.
“There was so much blood,” said the woman who said she called 911. She said neither of the youngsters on-foot were armed.
Another man testified that he was in the Kent County Jail with Ivy-Vance in July and the defendant told him that he went by the nickname “Reaper” and was a willing and experienced “trigger man.”
The man, who police asked to remain unidentified, says he is Broyles cousin and a former drug dealer.
Nate Jones.jpgNate Jones

“(Ivy-Vance) said he put in work on Nate,” the man testified. He said the defendant claimed he used a .22-caliber handgun to shot Jones who officials say died from that caliber of slug to his head.
Key was shot with a .380-caliber gun. Police say.
The man said Ivy-Vance explained that he “had a beef” with Jones and the two were from different neighborhoods claimed as the territory for different gangs.
But the brouhaha came when 18-year-old Lee took the stand. Lee has an extensive record and Assistant Kent County Prosecutor Kellee Koncki expected him to testify about the shooting.
Lee has an extensive criminal record including weapons, drugs and witness intimidation.
Once on the stand, Lee looked at the group of young people gathered in the court gallery who were frequently being escorted from the court by deputies as they clicked their tongues and made gestures at Lee.
Before he began, Lee decided to apply the brakes.
“Listen, I'm sorry I wasted everybody's time,” Lee said. “They told me I'd get 10 years if I didn't say what they want.”
When he refused to testify, Lee's mother ran from the courtroom wailing. She later tried to get him to testify along with Lee's attorney John Beason.
Finally, Beason said he was withdrawing as Lee's lawyer.
“He refuses to take my advice,” Beason told Judge Jeanine LaVille. “He thinks this is a game and I'm not here for that, the families are not here for that and the defendants are not here for that.”
Koncki asked Lee one last time whether he would tell the truth in court.
dlee.jpgMarquis Desaun Lee

“Why do you want to take my life?” Lee asked Koncki.
LaVille held Lee in contempt of court and he now faces the potential life offense of perjury in a murder case.
He remains in the Kent County Jail on a $1 million bond.
The case against Ivy-Vance and Broyles was investigated by the Kent Metro Cold Case Team and dealt with numerous uncooperative witnesses who were subjected to investigative subpoenas to compel them to talk.
The probable cause hearing will likely continue next month.

No comments:

Post a Comment