BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Marquise Blackmon saw for the first time Thursday photographs showing the father of her three young daughters face down in a display case, shot dead last year in a Bakersfield medical marijuana dispensary.
She took a few deep breaths when the body of Devin Daniels appeared on the projector screen. She sniffled. She cried. But she got through it.
"I knew I had to be strong," Blackmon said.
The photographs were shown during the preliminary hearing for Aaron Patrick Burris and Miracle Jackson, each charged with two counts of murder and other crimes in the July 17 killings at First Reliable collective. The hearing will continue Tuesday in Department 10 of Kern County Superior Court.
Daniels, 23, was a security guard at the business. Burris allegedly shot and killed both him and 55-year-old Tony Sherman. Police have not specified whether Sherman was employed by the business.
Police said Burris and Jackson fled with $20 in cash and 80.5 grams of pot.
Among the evidence against the defendants is six minutes of surveillance footage taken from inside the pot shop that police say captured the shootings. That footage was played in court Thursday, but only for the judge, attorneys and defendants.
That frustrated some family members of the victims.
Christina Luttrull, Daniels' sister, said she thought seeing the footage would give her some closure. Blackmon said she, too, wanted an opportunity to see what happened to Daniels during the final moments of his life.
The DVD containing the footage has been entered as evidence and will almost certainly be shown at trial. Also entered into evidence were photographs of the inside of the shop, as well as one of a shirtless Burris taken while he was in custody.
Police said reports filed in court that tattoos visible on the shooter in the surveillance footage match those on Burris.
The reports say the footage showed Burris, 32, and Jackson, entering the collective at 217 Chester Ave. The reports say Burris pulled a handgun and chased Sherman to the back of the building.
Burris fired three shots at Sherman, the reports say. Sherman dropped to the ground and Burris returned to the front area near the front of the building.
He ordered Daniels to hand over marijuana and money, the reports said. Daniels complied.
The reports say Burris walked back to where Sherman was lying on the ground and fired a fourth shot. He then walked over to Daniels and began raising the gun to Daniels' head when the video ends, according to the reports.
Police testimony Thursday revealed Sherman was shot four times, including once in the head. Daniels died of a single gunshot wound to the head.
The shooting marked the first time someone was killed inside a medical marijuana dispensary in Kern County.
Deputy District Attorneys Eric Smith and Richard Choi are prosecuting the case. Deputy Public Defenders Paul Cadman and Pam Singh are representing Burris, while attorney Ronald Carter is representing Jackson.
Jackson was 16 at the time of the shooting.