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David Walls trial day 1: Chicago man's accomplice to testify in 2016 death of DeKalb man over weed

SYCAMORE – Prosecutors say they can prove David Walls shot DeKalb man Debrece Shields to death in a parking lot in 2016 after a weed deal gone bad because of surveillance footage, and evidence left on Walls’ clothing including drops of Shields’ blood and gun residue that matches the murder weapon.

Walls’ six-person jury trial began with opening statements Tuesday, read by First Assistant State’s Attorney Stephanie Klein and Walls’ Aurora-based defense attorney Liam Dixon.

“The events of that evening culminated in the death of Debrece Shields,” Klein said. “A death that was tragic, avoidable, and a death for which this defendant is legally, morally and personally responsible.”

The murder trial of David T. Walls, 21, of the 12000 block of Normal Avenue, Chicago, who is charged with first-degree murder in the 2016 shooting death of Shields, 25, began Tuesday. Nico Griggs, 28, of the first block of Fir Street in Park Forest, is also charged with murder and will testify Wednesday as part of a deal offered to him through the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s office. Both also face charges of aggravated unlawful use of a firearm. A conviction of first-degree murder is punishable in Illinois by 20 to 60 years in prison.

In response to Klein’s opening statements, Dixon said he’d show that Griggs is biased in his testimony, and that beyond Griggs as a witness, prosecutors didn’t have much to connect Walls to the murder.

“At the end of this case, I’m not going to ask you only what you’ve heard, but what you didn’t hear,” Dixon said, addressing the jury. “What’s missing? What’s contradictory? Much of their evidence is going to come from Mr. Griggs, and I’m going to ask you to take a look at him, and any bias he may have.”

On Oct. 6, 2016, Nico Griggs and David Walls drove to DeKalb from Chicago in a tan Jeep Grand Cherokee to get some marijuana, said Klein. Griggs was driving, and Walls was in the passenger seat. Two others were in the backseat.

Once in DeKalb, they stopped at a 7-Eleven, and got in touch with Debrece Shields to get more marijuana, agreeing to meet him in the parking lot behind an apartment building at 810 Kimberly Drive.

Klein said when the Jeep pulled into the parking lot shortly before 10:30 p.m. that night, Walls got out and walked over to Shields’ red Nissan Altima.

“Much of what happened in the parking lot was captured on surveillance camera footage,” Klein said.

Walls got into the front passenger side of Shields’ car. Moments later, the two tumbled out of the driver’s side door together, with Walls on top of Shields. Two shots rang out. The first missed, but the second was a fatal shot, hitting Shields in his back right shoulder. Soot and gun powder residue were later found around Shields’ bullet wound by the doctor who conducted the autopsy.

Walls jumped back in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by Griggs, and fled the scene.

They were later arrested by DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputies after their getaway vehicle ran out of gas on Peace Road in Sycamore.

Deputies located two guns near the Jeep, including a 9mm handgun that matched the manufacturer and caliber of two spent gun casings found at the crime scene: one in the cup holder of Shields’ car and the other inside Shields’ body.

When asked, Klein declined to comment on the deal offered to Griggs as part of his testimony in the trial. Griggs, along with Shields’ mother, are expected to testify Wednesday during the trial, which reconvenes at 9:30 a.m. in front of Circuit Court Judge Robbin Stuckert in courtroom 220.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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