Fates Of Defendants Rest In Jury’s Hands In Lexington Marine Murder Trial

Posted at 4:18 PM, Jun 25, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The fate of two men accused of fatally shooting a Marine outside of a Lexington bar rests in the jury’s hands. 

Two men, Quincinio Canada and Dawan Mulazim, are accused of shooting and killing Jonathan Price outside of Austin City Saloon in June 2014. Price’s wife, Megan, was also shot that night but survived. 

During the trial, Megan Price was one of the commonwealth’s witnesses. She said that it was her birthday when they went to Austin City Saloon to celebrate. The couple was ready to go home from the bar and walked outside. Price said that is when she looked up and saw a  man approach her with a gun; she said that she also saw another man with a gun.

"I remember a barrel pointed at Jonathan’s head," she said in court. "I heard a gun fire and I fell to the ground."

Prosecutors played Price’s 911 call in court. She can be heard frantically trying to get her husband to respond, saying: “I love you, Jonathan. I love you, Jonathan. I love you, Jonathan."

A witness, Antonine Woods, took the stand June 20, saying Canada admitted to him that he had killed somebody and that he bragged about the killing. He claimed that he told police, but was later beat up and then told investigators that he lied. On the stand, he said that he lied about lying. 

"I got into another fight. I never started any of these fights. All of these fights was over Q-man – ‘oh you better take your statement back, this, this, and that,’" Woods said.

When the defense asked him why anyone would brag about killing someone, Woods responded, "I have high status in this little city. People like to brag to me."

During the trial, the defense tried to prove that police got the wrong men.

Mulazim’s lawyer, Andrea Kendall, told the jury that police made an assumption because they were under pressure to solve this high-profile case during a summer filled with murders. She said that DNA evidence would prove they have the wrong men.

On the sixth day of the trial, the defense stated that the case was built on assumptions and they filed a motion for mistrial. Judge Pamela Goodwine said that a mistrial was not appropriate. The defense then called for a directed verdict, which means that the judge would order the jury declare a specific verdict, in this case, not guilty. They asked for this saying that there was no evidence linking the crime to the defendants. 

Goodwine said no. 

The defense called their own witnesses in the trial, including Joy Birch, who claimed she was with Mulazim the night of the murder. She said that Mulazim showed up at her home and they went to a club. She said they were planning on going to a hotel room, but Birch said that Mulazim received a phone call and he had to drop her off. 

"We stayed a little bit after 2. I remember them calling last call for drinks cause he did offer to buy another drink for me," said Birch.

Another witness claimed to have seen Mulazim at a strip club the night of the shooting. 

The judge read the jury instruction for Canada on Monday. It took about 40 minutes. Then she read the jury instructions for Mulazim. This took about 45 minutes. 

The judge instructed the jury that they must either find the men guilty or not guilty of not only murder, but robbery and assault.  Megan Price said that the robbers took $60 from her that night. She said that her husband did not carry cash. 

In the defense’s closing argument, they claimed that they believe there are inconsistencies in Megan Price’s recollection of what the suspects looked like. They also said that the victims of the Quality Inn robbery, which prosecutors say is where the alleged murder weapon was stolen, provided lots of different descriptions later on than what they told police initially. 

Closing arguments finished Monday evening and now their fate rests in the jury’s hands.