LEXINGTON, Ky (LEX 18) – Wednesday marked the beginning of the penalty phase of Quincinio Canada and Dawam Mulazim’s trial. Canada was found not guilty of the murder of Lexington marine Jonathan Price Tuesday and jurors failed to reach a verdict with Mulazim. They were both found guilty of robbery.
The day in court began with Judge Pamela Goodwine reading off Canada’s prior convictions to the jury.
In May 2011, he was convicted of receiving stolen property. In February 2012, he was convicted of fleeing from police. In July 2012, he was convicted of theft. In February 2013, he was convicted of wanton endangerment.
Goodwine then read Mulazim’s prior convictions. In January 2002, he was convicted of assault and tampering with evidence. In November 2007, he was convicted of being a felon with a gun. In November 2007, he was convicted of two counts of wanton endangerment.
The judge told the jury that they will need to figure out if the defendants are persistent felony offenders in the first degree.
The Commonwealth told the jury that Canada and Mulazim have an extensive criminal past. She said that they have had opportunities to change, but they don’t.
Canada’s defense thanked the jury for the work that they put into the trial. They said they would show the jury character witnesses that will tell them about who Canada is, saying that it is not an excuse, but an explanation.
His mother took the witness stand, telling the jury that she was 16 when Canada was born. Her mother was angry about her getting pregnant, and she said her mom would hit her when she was pregnant, making her worried about the baby’s health.
Quincinio Canada’s mother also told the jury that in January 1994, Canada’s father was shot and killed. His father’s brother, Walker Smith, was a character witness. Smith is currently serving an 8.5-year sentence at Blackburn Correction.
Smith told the defense that he wasn’t around enough to be a role model for Canada. Smith said she has been arrested about 10 times. Smith said that prison offered different programs to help rehabilitate people and he thinks that Canada can benefit from those programs.
Gregory Higgins is also currently an inmate. He married Canada’s mother. He said that he had a good relationship with her kids and considers Canada a son.
Higgins said that his arrest was just another in a long line of letdowns for Canada. He also said that prison can affect a person in two ways, making them worse, or helping them become a better person. Higgins said that he found religion in prison and prison has helped him. He told the court that he hopes Canada can benefit from prison programs and learn from his mistakes.
Mulazim’s defense started its opening statement by apologizing for how Mulazim reacted Tuesday when the verdict for Canada was being read. Mulazimn could be seen pounding on the table when it was read that Canada was found not guilty for the murder charge. Mulazim’s lawyers stopped him.
This is what Mulazim’s defense apologized for today. When Canada’s ‘Not Guilty’ verdict was read yesterday, Mulazim enthusiastically pounded on the table. His lawyers quickly grabbed his hands.
— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) June 27, 2018
Mulazim’s defense asked the jury to keep an open mind to all the penalty options, saying that Mulazim already faces the possibility of being in prison until he is in his 50s.
The first character witness for Mulazim was his aunt. She claimed Mulazim was a loving child, but it was difficult to say how involved Mulazim’s father was in his life.
His niece took the stand, saying that Mulazim was the only constant male figure in her life and that he keeps in contact with her even though he is in jail. Another niece and his nephew also took the stand.
Judge Goodwine said that she intends to get through jury instructions and closings arguments, but told the jury that if they need to, they could come back Thursday.