Mother, widow of marine testify in second day of murder trial

Jonathan Price's widow and mother both testified in court Thursday. Both recapped the day Price died.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)-A marine’s widow testified Wednesday against the two men accused of killing him.

Quincinio Canada and Dawan Mulazim are accused of stealing a gun at a Quality Inn then using it days later to shoot and kill Jonathan Price outside Austin City Saloon about four years ago where he was celebrating his wife’s birthday.

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Wednesday, Jonathan’s wife, Megan, took the stand. Her testimony was emotional. it covered her sweet engagement and her last military ball with her husband, but much of it focused on her as witness to the attack that left her with a metal plate in her leg and killed her husband.

Megan testified she and Jonathan were ready to leave Austin city. They were outside, sitting on their designated driver’s bumper, waiting for her, when two men with guns approached them.

Price says she moved to give a man in a white shirt her purse when he aggressively took it off her. She watched surveillance video with the jury and pointed out details.

Price told them she saw Jonathan fighting with the other man, then heard a gunshot.

She saw Jonathan on the ground, but couldn’t get to him because she had also been shot, in the leg.

After playing her 911 call, the Commonwealth asked her if she could see her husband while she was on the phone with the dispatcher.

“When you are on the call and you’re calling Jonathan can you see him?” Kimberly Baird asked Price.

“Yes,” Price responded.

“What is he doing?” Baird asked.

“Laying face down, Price said.

Price also told the jury she had $60 in her purse. That’s what the robbers took. She also says the man who shot her took Jonathan’s wallet from his back pocket as he lay face down, bleeding, but he didn’t carry cash.

Jonathan’s Mother, Debbie Price, also took the stand Thursday. As she spoke, friends and family in the back of the courtroom cried.

Price introduced her son as a young man who did well in school even though he didn’t like to study. She emphasized how much he had wanted to be a marine even as a child, but he had trouble becoming a service member because he had knee problems.

He got surgeries and made it in, often topping his class in training. He wanted to be deployed, but his unit was on a break.

Price also recounted her son’s whirlwind courtship with his wife, how nice it was when they all lived together as the young couple saved money for a house.

Then Debbie talked about finding out her son had died, how she rushed to the ER and the doctor told her Jonathan couldn’t be revived.

A group went to say goodbye. Eventually, his wife asked them to leave, but told Debbie to stay.

“We’d been there a little while and Megan asked everybody to leave, but she said I could stay. She said I was the one that brought Jonathan into the world and I should be the one to see him last,” Price recounted.

She also added her son wanted to be an organ donor, but couldn’t because he bled out.

The first witness Thursday was the detective who investigated the robbery that preceded the murder.

That is detective Timothy Upchurch. Some of Upchurch’s testimony focused on a photo lineup he brought to those Quality Inn robber victims in Somerset, where they are from.

When the defense cross examined him, attorney Kim Green tried to find out why police photo-shopped out a face tattoo on Quincinio Canada.

Green and her team have been arguing police made assumptions, ignored evidence, and manipulated evidence to better fit their suspects.

When asked about the photo-shopping, Upchurch explained that’s a normal practice in creating a photo line up.

“You would make the effort to take out an identifying facial feature?” Green asked.

“If we couldn’t find anyone else with tattoos on the face there’s no way I could put him in a line up with people who don’t have tattoos. That would suggest he is a suspect in the case so we did this for the benefit of their client,” Upchurch said to the jury.

 

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!