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Man accused in West Side slaying claims he thought victim had a gun when he shot him

marcus young trial

Marcus Young appears in court Tuesday before Kanawha Circuit Judge Tera Salango. Young, accused in the 2017 shooting death of Terrell Davenport, is charged with first-degree murder.

A Charleston woman said Tuesday she had to double over to avoid getting sick after she called 911 for a man who’d just been shot five times in front of the West Side Market in Charleston almost two years ago.

Brittany Gilmore testified Tuesday during the first day of testimony in the trial for Marcus Lamont Young, who is accused of being one of two people who shot and killed Terrell Davenport on Dec. 14, 2017.

Young, 21, is charged with one count of first-degree murder, and he is standing trial before Kanawha Circuit Judge Tera Salango in the Kanawha Judicial Annex.

Gilmore was staying with a relative in Legion Apartments across the street from the market, commonly called MJ’s, at the time of the shooting. She testified she was preparing to cross 7th Street when she heard the shots and then saw Davenport lying on the ground.

“I didn’t want to leave him there,” Gilmore said as she cried during her testimony. “I just wanted to help. I felt for a pulse. I felt to see if he was still breathing. I put my hand on his back to see if it was moving up and down, and it was. I told him it was going to be OK.”

Kanawha Assistant Prosecutors Deb Rusnak and Maryclaire Akers said Tuesday that Young and Jaryionte Thomas shot Davenport after a brief conversation in the West Side Market. Thomas was the first to fire shots inside the store, and both Thomas and Young shot at Davenport after he stumbled outside of the store, the prosecutors said.

Young’s defense attorneys Ed Bullman and Dan Holstein didn’t dispute Young shot Davenport, but they said he only did so after he saw Davenport reach for his waistband. Young believed Davenport was reaching for a gun, the attorneys said, and they asked the jury to consider what Young did as voluntary manslaughter, not murder.

Thomas, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Oct. 29. One of the conditions of his plea deal requires him to cooperate with investigators and prosecutors in the case against Young.

Thomas is incarcerated at Central Regional Jail. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 12. Young is incarcerated at South Central Regional Jail.

Authorities arrested Thomas and Young in Detroit, within the month of the shooting.

Gilmore testified Tuesday she called 911 as other people at the scene waved down an ambulance that happened to be passing by MJ’s.

While paramedics treated Davenport, Gilmore stood off to the side, trying not to get sick, she said.

Rusnak and Akers said Davenport suffered a total of five gunshot wounds.

West Virginia Chief Medical Examiner: Dr. Allen Mock testified that three of the wounds — in Davenport’s, shoulder, chest, and leg — wouldn’t have been fatal with proper medical care. Those were the wounds prosecutors said Davenport suffered inside the store.

The other two wounds damaged Davenport’s spinal cord and his brain, and Mock said those wounds didn’t “have any significant survival potential.”

Prosecutors showed surveillance footage, filmed by a camera at Legion Apartments, to jurors Tuesday.

The camera is pointed toward the intersection of 7th Avenue and Rebecca Street, and Davenport is shown pulling up to the store in a white compact sedan.

He goes in the store once and leaves. While he’s sitting in his car three men identified as Young, Thomas and a third man who was not charged in the case, walk past.

Prosecutors and Young’s attorneys acknowledged Young said something to Davenport while he sat in his car.

Davenport initially started to pull out of the parking lot, but he backed up his car and went back into the store, where Amjad Goul, who owns the store, said Davenport asked Young why he called him “blood.”

Goul testified that Young told Davenport he thought he was someone else. While it wasn’t a friendly exchange, Goul said it wasn’t violent and no one was behaving in an aggressive manner.

Goul said based on where the men were standing, Thomas would not have been able to see whether Davenport had a gun because there were shelves between them. Goul said he never saw Davenport with a gun, and Davenport never mentioned he had a gun.

When Davenport began walking out of the store, prosecutors said Thomas fired three shots, which landed the non-fatal injuries Mock described in Davenport’s chest, leg and shoulder.

On surveillance footage, Davenport can be seen stumbling out of the market, and Thomas and Young follow. Prosecutors said Thomas still was shooting as Davenport left the store. Both men have their guns pointed at Davenport who was lying on the ground when Young fires two shots that prosecutors said struck him in the neck and head, respectively, before the two men run off.

The third man also exits the store, and runs in the opposite direction of Young and Thomas. Prosecutors said that man did not fire any shots or otherwise engage in an altercation.

That’s when Gilmore runs into the frame and begins to assist Davenport, who died at Charleston Area Medical Center the next day. Gilmore said she watched as paramedics undressed Davenport to provide care to him, and Akers asked her if she saw a gun.

“They took his clothes off, and they moved him,” Gilmore responded. “All there was was blood. There was no gun.”

Reach Lacie Pierson

at, 304-348-1723 or follow @laciepierson on Twitter.


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