The government and defense lawyers gave opening statements on Tuesday, for the trial of Clifton Johnson charged with the alleged murder of Dwayne Grandson.
In his opening address to the jury, United States Attorney Richard Barker, said the case is about a man who “fired eight shots” at Dwayne Grandson. Barker described to the jury an emotional narrative of what allegedly happened the night Grandson was murdered.
Barker said it was at about 9 p.m. on Nov. 23, 2015, when Dwayne Grandson decided to walk his girlfriend Dominique home. On their way to Dominique’s house, the couple decided to pick some food at a local restaurant on the 2500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE.
When they sat in the restaurant, Johnson and his friend walked in to order food. When Johnson walked up to the counter Grandson got up from his chair and shook Johnson’s hand, in what Barker described as a “cordial interaction.”
According to Barker, Johnson immediately followed Grandson out the door. When Grandson realized he was being followed by Johnson, he immediately began to run away from him. Grandson fell on the ground when Johnson began to fire shots at him.
After Johnson “fired bullets,” he ran across the street. When police arrived, they tried to perform CPR on Grandson but he was unconscious. They also received a report that there was another individual who had been shot at the same location. The individual would later be identified as Johnson.
Lorraine Grandson, told the court her son Dwayne Grandson was a “good guy.” Who was “laid back” and a “homebody.” Grandson told the jury when she arrived at the scene, she saw Dwayne “gargling” on the floor “instead of breathing.”
In court Tuesday, Defense Attorney Harry Tun told the jury if they look at the evidence they will see Johnson “was not the initial aggressor.”
He also told the jury his client is “guilty of carrying a pistol without a license,” but not “guilty of “first-degree murder.”
Tun told the jury the government will show a surveillance video, but reminded them the video “does not tell the whole story.”
During her testimony, Tjuana Price described Johnson as the “gentleman in the athletic wear” who she said fired shots at Grandson first.
According to Price, Grandson “said something” to Johnson, and Johnson smiled and nodded to Grandson. Price said the “interactions” were “quick.”
When Johnson and Grandson went outside, Price said she heard “5-6 gunshots.” As she turned around, she saw Johnson run across Pennsylvania Avenue. She told the jury she saw the “motion” of him shooting a gun.
When the government asked her to describe what else she saw, Price said she could not remember because she was “distraught for 6-7 months.”
According to Price, inside the restaurant “everybody froze.” When asked by the government why she described Johnson as the “initial aggressor,” Price said because she did not see Grandson “firing back.” She saw Johnson take a step toward Grandson, and “shoot him again.”
The trial is currently in progress, and will resume Wednesday.