“My son is gone forever,” victim’s mother says
The mother of a man who was shot to death near The Streets at Southpoint mall told the defendant, Monquell Davis, on Wednesday that her son died gasping for air in a parking lot as Davis drove away.
Davis, 20, was in Durham County Criminal Superior Court, asking for a bond reduction. Superior Court Judge James Hardin denied the request and kept his bond at $2 million.
Davis, along with Kadeem Johnson and Deshario Mitchell, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Brian Christopher Keys on Feb. 9 after the car Davis was driving away from the scene crashed into two other cars.
Keys was trying to sell $1,400 worth of marijuana to Davis and the other two men when he was shot, prosecutors said.
Keys' mother, Angel Keys, stood to speak and told Davis' family she understood they wanted to get their son out of jail on bond.
"I get it," she said.
"You've got a lot to deal with for the rest of your life," she said.
"My son is gone forever," she said.
"My son went there without a gun," she said, speaking directly to Davis, who sat at the defense table looking at her as she spoke. "He intended you to go home alive."
Catherine Daye, who is Davis' grandmother, said her grandson is a "a really good boy" who "went down to buy some reefer."
"Monquell has never been in trouble," she said. "He went there with some people to buy drugs. I don't believe Monquell went to hurt anybody."
Daye said she understood Angel Keys' heartache.
"I hurt for what this lady is going through because my son was killed in a driveway shooting," she said.
"Just because Monquell went to buy reefer. Her son went to sell reefer. Things happen," she said. "I don't think he should be held accountable for this murder that happened. Monquell is a good boy. I love you, Monquell."
Keys had driven from Greensboro to sell $1,400 worth of marijuana on a busy Saturday at the shopping center. Davis had negotiated the transaction, and his connection to Keys came through his girlfriend, who knew Keys, said Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Bradford.
They were to meet in a parking lot of a shopping center on Fayetteville Road to exchange the drugs and money.
However, none of the three defendants had money, Bradford said. Keys was shot in the back seat after he got into the car to sell the marijuana, she said. After he was shot, his body was thrown out of car, and Davis sped away.
Police found two handguns in the vehicle after the incident, she said.
Davis's attorney, Rebecca Wiggins, told Hardin that gunshot residue tests taken from the three people charged with killing Keys, 24, showed that Davis did not have gunshot residue on him. He was not the shooter and did not know that the other people in his car would shoot Keys, she said.
He cooperated with police after he was taken into custody, she said.
Keys had gunshot residue on him, indicating that he may have had a gun, Wiggins said.
After hearing about the new evidence and from the victim's and defendant's families, Hardin said the current bond of $2 million was reasonable and denied the request to reduce the bond.