NewsCovering Kentucky


Witnesses Describe Trinity Gay’s Final Moments As Defense Casts Doubt On Who Shot Teen

Posted at 3:22 PM, Oct 10, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Prosecutors and defense lawyers argued in court Wednesday over who fired the shots that led to the death of Trinity Gay.

They disagree on many things that happened that night. However, one thing is clear: Gay got caught in the chaos in October 2016.

Several witnesses testifying in the case were teenagers at the time.

On Wednesday, they told the jury about the moment they heard shots being fired and Gay telling them she had been hit.

The 15-year-old Gay was shot in the neck when two groups of people exchanged gunfire in the parking lot of the Cook Out restaurant. She later died of her injuries.

Prosecutors say Chazerae Taylor fired shots first. He is charged with murder and wanton endangerment. His son, D’Markeo, and two others, Lamonte Williams and D’Vonta Middlebrooks, are charged with wanton endangerment.

All four deny shooting anyone, but prosecutors say one of the shots hit Gay.

In court Wednesday, Gay’s friends told the jury they tried to keep her awake while driving to the hospital, but she did not look good.

“She was shaking really hard,” said Alexa Garner. “She was foaming at the mouth. She kept passing out and waking back up.”

John Ramos was a security guard at the Waffle House near Cook Out. On Wednesday, he told the court that he saw a black man in a white shirt shoot a gun in the air. He said he saw another man shooting towards the Cook Out restaurant and when Ramos told him to drop his weapon, the man said, “They’re shooting at me.”

Lexington Police Detective Tyson Carroll said that in his interview with Chazerae Taylor, Taylor said  he raised his gun in the air and fired two shots to clear the crowd after he heard a pop.

Detective Timothy Upchurch also testified Wednesday. The jury listened to a recording of an interview in which Upchurch asked Middlebrooks questions about that night. In the recording, Middlebrooks told police he picked up a gun he found at the Cook Out scene. Police tell Middlebrooks that they don’t believe him.

Middlebrooks’ lawyers asked the detective about tactics used during interviews and whether or not those tactics include him lying, for example, about having certain evidence.

The detective said that they use tactics like that while talking to suspects. Middlebrooks’ lawyer said that during the police interview, Middlebrooks didn’t remember certain things, but he did remember not having a gun before arriving at Cook Out.

The detective testified that D’Markeo Taylor told Gay to go inside the Waffle House that night because he had a feeling that something was going to happen. He said that D’Markeo Taylor went to Cook Out to get a gun that was stolen from a friend.

The defense for Chazerae Taylor played surveillance video that showed the parking lot where the shooting happened. They pointed out that police did not identify all of the people seen in the video.

Lamonte Williams’ defense lawyer pressed the detective about whether a video showed Williams fire the gun at anyone. The detective insisted Williams had fired in the vicinity where people were gathered but eventually conceded with a “no” that the video did not show Williams specifically targeting a person.