Key witnesses in Dujuan Garris trial ‘don’t remember’ events that led to murder of James Anderson

Among the several people that testified in court Monday, in the murder trial against Dujuan Garris, Hassan Graves or “Nugget” was called to the stand to testify about his alleged involvement in the murder.

According to the prosecution’s opening statements, Graves, 14, was one of three people involved in the botched robbery that took the life of 27-year-old James Anderson.

However, when asked about his alleged role in the murder Graves said he wasn’t involved.

After recalling Graves grand jury testimony in which Graves said he didn’t allow for anyone to use his phone the night of the murder, prosecution attorney Chris Bruckmann brought up Graves’ telephone location. According to Graves’ telephone records, he received a phone call and left a house at 1337 1st St., SW minutes before the murder.

Following the murder, Graves’ cell phone location placed him in a neighborhood just off the green metro line where “Smooth” and “Fat Fat,” the two other people allegedly involved in the botched robbery, were located.

During a line of questioning involving Graves’ location before and after the murder, Bruckmann asked Graves if he remembered being the places discussed previously in which Graves repeatedly said “I don’t know” and “I don’t remember.”

Graves consistently couldn’t recall information so much so that Bruckmann retrieved Graves previous grand jury testimony and gave Graves a copy. Even after reviewing his testimony, at times Graves still struggled to recall information. At one point in his line of questioning, Bruckmann stopped to ask if Graves was having issues with his memory to which Graves said “no.”

Graves wasn’t the only person struggling to recall details surrounding Anderson’s murder. Darnell Gibson, an alleged eyewitness, couldn’t recall details of the murder to which the prosecution suggested was because of the “no snitch rule.”

In the prosecution’s opening statements, they mentioned community members in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood weren’t forthcoming with information about the murder to the police because they don’t want to be deemed “hot” or a “snitch.”

However, Gibson said the reason he wasn’t of much help to police is that he doesn’t have any concrete information about the murder. The defense brought up instances of Gibson’s past interactions with the police and his cooperation in a neighborhood stabbing that eventually lead to the charging of a suspect.

During a break, Juan Coats, another alleged eyewitness to the murder was arraigned after his arrest on Sunday based on a warrant the prosecution issued on Saturday after Coats met with them and stated they would be unable to locate him come Monday.

Judge Milton Lee ordered Coats to be held without bond until he testifies in the case.

Garris continues to be held without bond as he faces first-degree murder.

Garris is expected in court Tuesday for his continued trial.


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