The fate of a man charged with murder in the shooting death of a retired St. Louis police captain was placed in the jury's hands on Wednesday, just one day after prosecutors rested their case with a state witness’ admission that he initially lied about the events that transpired, according to reports.
Stephan Cannon’s defense team called three witnesses before resting their case on Wednesday, as attorneys tried to poke holes in prosecutors’ case against their case, according to local affiliate FOX 2 Now. Cannon, a 26-year-old from Glasgow Village, is accused of killing former St. Louis Police Capt. David Dorn during a looting spree in June 2020.
A panel of 12 jurors – three men and nine women – now have the case.
Defense witnesses reportedly included a DNA expert and evidence technicians, FOX 2 reported.
Before the defense began their arguments, prosecutors recalled Alicia Beavers, who was living with Cannon at the time of the shooting.
Beavers said she spotted Cannon in an image from the shooting scene and recognized it was him from the square-shaped earring he was wearing, FOX 2 reported.
She had trouble recalling details during her testimony, but was heard in police audio telling investigators after the shooting that Cannon said "it went down at Lee’s," according to the report. She reportedly said she understood that to mean there was looting.
Beavers also told investigators Cannon had cut his dreadlocks shortly after a new television appeared at her home, according to KMOV. He allegedly told Beavers he changed his hairstyle because he "got into some stuff."
Cannon was charged with first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, burglary and three counts of "armed criminal action." Prosecutors allege Cannon gunned down Dorn, 77, while he was protecting a friend's pawn shop during looting on June 2, 2020.
The shooting came on a night of violence across St. Louis after protests devolved into riots sparked by the May 25, 2020 death of of George Floyd.
Dorn was shot on the sidewalk outside Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry. His last moments were caught on video and apparently posted on Facebook Live, though the video has since been taken down.
He and four officers were struck by bullets, officers were pelted with rocks and fireworks, and 55 businesses were burglarized or damaged across St. Louis during the protests.
The septuagenarian had served 38 years on the St. Louis police force before working six years as chief in Moline Acres.
Prosecutors said in their opening statements that Cannon was one of several people looting the store that night. When Dorn arrived, Cannon went to a nearby corner, allegedly with a gun in his hand. Cannon, prosecutors said, was the only person on the corner when shots were fired and Dorn was hit.
In his opening remarks, however, Cannon's attorney, Brian Horneyer, told jurors that no physical evidence linked Cannon to the killing. He also said the state's main witness, who is also charged with several felonies, told detectives he would say "anything" they wanted for a plea deal and to escape a murder conviction.
The state witness in question, Mark Jackson, described to cops how Cannon confessed in a phone call to Jackson that he had been the one to kill Dorn, according to reports.
But he admitted to the court on Tuesday that he did, at first, lie to police, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Jurors also learned Tuesday that Jackson actually told police he would say pretty much anything to get out of these cuffs and back to my son," according to video played during trial, as reported by the Post-Dispatch.
"You tell me what to say and I will say it," he allegedly said. "I’ll witness whatever you want me to witness."
He also reportedly told them: "I gave you Stephan, please don’t give me murder second."
Jackson was charged with second-degree murder for the captain’s death, according to the report. He signed a plea deal, though he received no promises of a shortened sentence, FOX 2 Now said.
According to a police probable cause statement, Cannon was among those seen on surveillance footage entering the store and then stealing several televisions. At the time of the shooting, he was "the only person standing at that corner," the statement alleged.
"Multiple plumes of smoke" could be seen coming from where Cannon was standing, and shell casings were found on the spot, police said.
Dorn’s last moments were caught on video and apparently posted on Facebook Live, though the video was later removed.
Ann Dorn, the victim’s wife and a fellow former police officer, testified earlier in the trial that her husband was "a dedicated policeman and public servant for 43 years." Dorn said her husband often checked on alarms at the pawn shop because he was friends with the owner.
Other witnesses included weapons experts, evidence technicians, and law enforcement personnel, according to the report.
After the slaying, investigators reportedly recovered a pistol, televisions and pieces of Cannon’s dreadlocks from an apartment were he was staying, but did not locate the handgun that Cannon is believed to have used in the shooting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.