Winnebago County prosecutors try for the third time to put a man they say is responsible for murder behind bars. Jesse Herrera has been before three different juries. First there was a mistrial when a witness spoke out after leaving the stand. Then, there was a hung jury in January 2013. Now, prosecutors hope this third trial ends with a conviction.
"You will learn that with his dying breath Kerry "Goldie" Davis identified the individual responsible for his death," says Wendy Larson, Winnebago County Assistant State's Attorney.
Jesse Herrera is on trial for shooting Kerry Davis to death July 30, 2009 in an alley in the 800 block of King Street. Though Davis had been shot in the chest he was still able to get a few words out before he died. Prosecutors say he identified his killer by his nickname "Cartoon."
"He told the people who were listening to him as he lay in that alley, 'Toon, Toon, Cartoon shot me,'" says Larson.
But the defense questions that version of events. Even trying today to get new pictures allowed in the case which they say would prove a key witness could not have seen Herrera in the alley when Davis was shot. The judge refused to allow them in saying the defense had three and a half years to submit the pictures and didn't have to wait until right before trial. But even without the pictures in the last trial defense attorney Shelton Green was able to show enough differences in witnesses testimony the jury could not reach a verdict.
"Details and small words here or there make a tremendous difference. We ask you to pay attention to these details," says Green.
Green hopes this time instead of a hung jury they can return a verdict for his client.
"I will ask that you sign a verdict of not guilty because Jesse is not guilty. The evidence will not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesse is guilty," says Green.
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