The fate of Demico Stanley is now in the hands of the jury after both sides gave their closing statements in the capital murder trial.
Stanley is charged with the April 7, 2015 capital murder of Richard Myles. During closing statements, Matt Shovlin, assistant district attorney, said based on the facts and evidence, the jury should reach a guilty verdict on capital murder, and not murder.
“We do have evidence of prior planning,” Shovlin said.
Sholvin said prior planning included renting the “get-away” car the Monday before the Tuesday murder and parking it in a more isolated area.
“That’s planning for a quick get away,” Shovlin said.
In addition, he said Stanley was in total control of who can come in or out of the kitchen, which is where the first shot was in Myles’ murder.
“He was neutrally touched on the shoulder in his [Stanley’s] view, and that’s enough to pull out the gun? He stayed and continued shooting because he needed to finish the job, which was taking care of Rich [Myles],” Shovlin said. “They’re [Stanley and Adrian Quigley, the co-defendant] are both responsible for everything that happened in that apartment.”
Shovlin also spoke about the fact that Stanley waited in the car for Quigley to get in.
“He [Stanley] leaves with someone he just shot. He has a gun and the keys to the car, if he was really scared of Adrian, don’t you think he’d go somewhere else?” Shovlin asked the jury. “Why would you ever get together again if you’re scared of someone.”
Caroline Simone for the defense focused much of her closing statement arguing that there was not a robbery on that day. She said throughout his interaction with police after the murder, Stanley was adamant that there he didn’t take anything.
“He told police, ‘Yea, I shot the guy, but it wasn’t a robbery.’ He [Stanley] didn’t just tell police things that are good for him. He tells them ‘I’m a drug dealer. I shot him,’” Simone said.
Simone said if Stanley had the intention to rob the Myles, he didn’t do a very good job. She said marijuana, pills and money were left in the apartment.
“It doesn’t make any sense that he [Stanley] didn’t take the money off him [Myles] once he killed him,” Simone said.
Among other criteria, capital murder is defined as “intentionally and knowingly causing the death of another person.” Another criteria is that the defendant “intentionally commits the murder in the course of committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat.”
“It’s got to be so clear - not just that one thing happened but that they happened together,” Simone said. “You’d have to believe that he [Stanley] intended to kill Rich in the course of a robber. His intention had to be to murder, and you have no evidence of that.”
Simone said the jury was presented with evidence that Stanley thought he was being set up that day. She also said Stanley told police that Myles “was coming at him” in the kitchen.
“How do you know Rich is coming at him? Look at the gunshots on his arms,” Simone said.
Michael Graves, assistant district attorney, wrapped up closing arguments.
“The jury charge does not say they [Stanley and Quigley] had to intend to rob Rich. Intent can be formed in an instant,” Graves said.
Graves also briefly went over testimony given by various witnesses for the state. He reminded the jury that one witness said he missed Stanley running out, but saw Quigley running out and clutching something. That same witness also testified to hearing Quigley tell the person running in front of him to “go.”
Graves also brought up testimony given by Anthony Bryant, who told the jury he was Myles’ best friend.
“Bryant sees Quigley running and yells “Did y’all rob Rich?” Bam [Quigley] just looked at him,” Graves said. “That is the first thing that comes to his [Bryant] mind.”
As far as the robbery portion of the charge, Graves said before speaking with Lewisville detective Scott Kelly, Stanley was told by Kelly that the case was also a robbery.
“Stanley has had three to four days to think about this [before speaking with Kelly,] of course he’s going to say nothing was taken,” Graves said. “There’s no doubt that Stanley has street smarts. Don’t think he’s some poor, dumb, innocent man because he’s extremely, extremely smart.”
During trial, the defense brought up the fact that during that interview, Kelly told Stanley that he thought the charge would be filed as manslaughter. However, during closing arguments, Graves reminded the jury that after reviewing all the evidence, Kelly filed it as capital murder.
Graves also reminded the jury of various statements Stanley said during interviews. He said “My homeboy said don’t [expletive] with Bam, but I needed the cash real quick. Bam came with nothing, I had everything. Bam jumped in the backseat. “It could have been a friendly gesture [Myles grabbing Stanley in the kitchen], but I’m paranoid.” Graves said the important aspect of many of Stanely’s statements are the various untruths he told.
“Every bit of evidence is that Rich towers over Stanley, so how do you get a downward gunshot? You get it when reaching down into safe to finish the transaction,” Graves said.
During the medical examiner’s testimony, he explained that the graze wound to Myles’ eyebrow was in a downward trajectory.
“They’re acting in concert from then on,” Graves said. “This is Bam and Stanley completing a job. You can tell someone’s intent by how many times you fire a gun. When you fire that many times your intent is to kill someone.”