Detective testifies at murder trial; closing arguments today

DOVER — A murder defendant’s version of events changed four to five times following arrest for an alleged shooting outside an after-prom party last year, a Dover Police detective testified on Monday morning.

According to the prosecution, Ahmir Bailey, 20, of Lincoln, referenced holding a 9 mm firearm allegedly used to fatally shoot Jameir Vann-Robinson, 20, of Smyrna, in the early morning hours of May 13, 2018; the disclosure came during a recorded prison call to his then-girlfriend, the detective testified.

Ahmir Bailey

Police also said Mr. Bailey acknowledged discharging a firearm into the air near the scene on Mitscher Road in Dover around 2 a.m. Also, investigation allegedly found a 9mm ammunition clip on a bed in a room Mr. Bailey spent time in around the time of the shooting, prosecutors indicated.

The defense pointed to part of the prison phone call when Mr. Bailey said he also knew what he didn’t do and “I’m not stressing.”
Closing arguments are scheduled for this morning.

Also heard was a police interview of Mr. Vann-Robinson’s friend who was with him during the entire night, along with the day before when they learned of the party from an interaction at the Dover Mall.

The men initially arrived at the party spot at 10 p.m. on May 12 but then left due to a smallish crowd. They returned at around midnight and attendees had increased to around 100, the friend explained. The event followed Dover High’s prom, according to testimony.

Mr. Vann-Robinson and his friend were leaving the party when a verbal confrontation ensued with a vehicle’s occupants, according to testimony. The friend said he wanted to avoid a fight and began “jogging” away. Mr. Vann-Robinson was still talking to the men (wearing all black, he said) in the vehicle, his friend said, when a gun was pulled.

“My friend he was talking too much, I told him to stop talking,” the witness told police.

The friend testified to hearing a string of gunshots and heard Mr. Vann-Robinson initially say “ ‘You all didn’t hit me’ or something like that.”

Soon afterward, however, Mr. Vann-Robinson said “I got hit” and “Yo, bro I’m hit, I’m hit” before he began gasping in his car.”

After the shots, the friend said he attempted to get help from others at the party but got no response. The friend said he and Mr. Vann-Robinson had no guns that night and that the victim had been drinking beforehand and was “a little bit drunk.”

The man could not identify what he described as two men who followed them from the party. In the interview he expressed concern that they might have firearms.

There was nothing that indicated trouble was coming earlier, the friend said.

“Everything was going good at the party,” he added.

The friend said he was trying to avoid police when transporting Mr. Vann-Robinson to Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital; the journey lasted nearly an hour when it could have been completed in 10 minutes or less, according to police testimony.

Defense attorney Andre’ Beauregard began the morning arguing for a judgment of acquittal on charges including first-degree murder and attempted murder. Resident Judge William L. Witham opted to leave the decision with jurors, though first- and second-degree conspiracy charges were eliminated.

Other remaining charges include possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, shoplifting, burglary, possession of firearm/ammunition by person prohibited and theft.

Mr. Bailey was arrested on May 14, 2018 and indicted on Nov. 5, 2018. His defense team includes attorneys Mr. Beauregard and Zachary A. George. Deputy Attorneys General Kevin Smith and Gregory R. Babowal are prosecuting for the state.

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