Jurors get Gamez case in Durham murder trial

jwise@newsobserver.comApril 30, 2013 


Shooting defendant Gabriel James Gamez, left, confers with his defense attorney Rebecca Wiggins during the second day of testimony in Durham Superior Criminal Court, on April 24, 2013. Gamez, from Texas, is charged in the shooting death of a visiting Pennsylvania high school football player and the wounding of a second player in Durham on June 23, 2011.

HARRY LYNCH — hlynch@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— Jurors will resume deliberations Wednesday morning on the Gabriel James Gamez murder case after not reaching a verdict by the time Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner called a recess soon after 5 p.m.

Gamez, 24, is charged with first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Darrell Turner, an 18-year-old high-school football player from Pennsylvania who was spending a night at a Durham hotel with teammates.

Gamez says he acted in self-defense after seeing one of the group reach for a gun.

No testimony besides Gamez’s own mentioned one of the players having a gun..

Besides murder, Gamez faces 10 other charges stemming from an incident in which he opened fire on Turner and several of his teammates after an angry exchange of words and name-calling.

The case went to the jury after attorneys spent Tuesday morning in concluding arguments, and Gessner spent almost an hour instructing the jury in the nature of the charges, the applicable laws and the jurors’ options for each count and charge. He also gave the jurors a 22-page document with the instructions.

Gamez is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury in the wounding of Turner’s teammate Thomas Woodson. He also faces five counts of attempted first-degree murder and four of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill in firing on four other members of the team from Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pa., who were spending the night at a Durham hotel en route to a camp in Florida.

During the afternoon, the jurors returned to the courtroom for a second look at a map of the shooting scene which had been presented as evidence during testimony. They also asked for more copies of the instructions, which Gessner provided.

The judge, though, denied the jurors’ request to know at what hotel the football players were staying and whether evidence had shown where Turner fell when he was shot. Gessner told them that all the evidence had been heard and they were to rely on their own memories and notes.

The shootings occurred June 23, 2011, in the parking lot of an AT&T store near Chapel Hill Boulevard and Mount Moriah Road. Gamez, who is from San Antonio, Texas, was in Durham for a family funeral and encountered the teammates as they were returning to their respective hotels from restaurants.

Wise: 919-641-5895

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