LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Gripping 911 calls and accusations of police impropriety led off the trial Wednesday for the two men accused of murdering a Kentucky marine.
Quincinio Canada, 26, and Dawan Mulazim, 34, are charged with stealing a gun almost four years ago at a Quality Inn in Lexington then using that gun to shoot and kill Jonathan Price days later in the parking lot of Austin City Saloon.
The Commonwealth opened with photos, surveillance, and a powerful 911 call as attorneys tried to connect the suspects to the robbery and the shooting.The defense refuted most of what was said as assumptions without proof.
Jonathan Price was 26-years-old when he was shot and killed outside Austin City Saloon while celebrating his wife’s birthday. The Commonwealth argues Canada and Mulazim stole a gun the week before from the Quality Inn then used it to kill Price and shoot his wife in the leg.
The Commonwealth played part of Megan Price’s 911 call for the jury in its opening. In it, she shouts out to her husband who died before an ambulance could arrive.
“Jonathan, I love you. Jonathan, I love you. Jonathon, I love you,” she shouts through tears as the dispatcher starts to ask where her husband was shot.
The Commonwealth’s first witness was Shane Hansford whose gun was stolen at the Quality Inn.
He identified Mulazim and Canada in a line up. When cross examining Hansford, the defense tried to point out he didn’t note to police certain features the men being tried have, such as facial tattoos. Part of the defense’s opening made reference to that, arguing police had already decided who their suspects were, ignoring evidence and even photo-shopping a photo to better fit Hansford’s description.
“Facing immense pressure to solve a high profile murder in a summer of high profile murders, detective Wolf and the Lexington police department assumed they knew who did it,” Andrea Kendall, Mulazim’s attorney, said.
Another witness, Mitchell Smith, was also a victim in the Quality Inn robbery. The defense showed one of his Facebook posts sharing an ABC 36 News article about the crime. He said in the post “if they didn’t all look alike, they would be dead.”
The defense also argues DNA found under Price’s nails exonerate Mulazim and Canada.
The trial will continue through the week. Several other people are expected for questioning, including Price’s mother and wife.