Testimony by Special Agent Michael Easter started the trial Thursday for Delonte Wynn. In an attempt to make sense of it all, jurors asked if they could ask their own questions of the witnesses, and were ultimately denied.
Agent Easter specializes in tracking cell phone calls and text messages, using cell towers to determine the location of the caller. Easter provided the location of the victim, Darlene Bryant, Wynn and Wynn’s girlfriend throughout the many phone calls to one another on the days leading up to May 13. Based on the witness’ testimony, Wynn can be tracked having made his way back to Wheeler Road around the time witness’ claim Bryant was attacked. The cell phone records also indicated that the morning another witness Donnell Howard allegedly heard a conversation between Bryant and Wynn, there was, in fact, no record of them speaking.
Gilbert Allen approached the witness stand, and when he began to speak sentences became difficult to form. “Is this hard for you to talk about?” the prosecution asked, to which Allen responded, “yes… today, it is.” On the evening of May 13, Allen heard a loud knock on his door and opened it to find Bryant covered in blood and unable to communicate what had happened to her. Attorneys played the 911 call that Allen made to help his memory, in which Allen is heard saying “Darlene, Darlene… she’s passing out… she’s gone.” When asked, the witness claimed he did not know who had attacked Bryant or what had happened to her.
On this same day, a witness who lived in the Geraldine Apartments on Wheeler Road claimed to have seen Bryant just hours before her death when she asked to use the resident’s bathroom. “It’s hard being a woman, homeless, squatting in the streets,” the witness said when asked why she let Bryant into her apartment that day. From the time Bryant used the witness’s bathroom to the time the witness was speaking to the police about the victim’s death, she claims to have been listening to music and heard nothing in her hallways that sounded like an attack.
While used to support different arguments, DNA testing was referenced in both the prosecution and defense opening statements on Tuesday. An expert witness of forensic sciences was able to testify that the DNA collected from under Bryant’s fingernails “excluded” Wynn, meaning his DNA has not found on the victim. The defense made sure to confirm whether or not this ruled him out completely as the alleged attacker, to which the witness said no and that DNA testing can never be certain.
During another officer’s testimony a series of physical evidence, including pairs of pants, sweatshirts, and identification found on the floor of Wynn’s apartment was introduced.
A final witness was called to the stand. Chester Taplette knew Bryant from the many times she had bought cigarettes from him, as well as the time she stole his phone. When the prosecution learned that Taplette had become angry and possibly physical with the victim after the theft of his phone, they questioned his role in her death. The witness went on to claim that Wynn confided in him his anger with Bryant for taking his car, and not long after this conversation did Taplette look out his window and see Bryant collapse on the porch across the street.
The trial will continue Monday morning with the remainder of Taplette’s testimony.