BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - Witness testimony continued Friday in court, where jurors watched a video of Antwan Mims' confession to a Michigan State Police detective. Mims claims his shooting of 29-year-old Michael Johnson and 21-year-old Cortez Miller outside a Benton Harbor party last March were in self-defense.
In court, Detective Sgt. Michael Sites recounted what Mims told him during the interview.
“He says as he goes into the kitchen he’s first confronted by Mr. Johnson – who’s just kind of staring there, looking at him. Mims makes the comment 'What’s up?' And he says Mr. Johnson replies, 'I got you,'" Sites said.
Sites told jurors Mims claimed that the victims, Johnson and Miller, harassed him in the past. He accused Johnson of trying to rob him a year earlier.
Mims claimed the taunting continued at his friend Johnell Henry's house party on March 25. Mims said he was unaware the two victims knew each other until he saw them at a different party hours before the shooting. He said he left that gathering and went to Henry's home on Lavette Avenue, where the victims later showed up.
Sites said Mims told him he went to make a plate of food in the kitchen when Johnson walked past and bumped him. Later, in the front room, Mims said Miller stared at him while walking to the front door, put his arms up on the doorway and started talking to Johnson who was standing outside. Defense attorney Eusebio Solis said Mims saw a gun in Miller's waistband.
Mims said he was cautious but didn't act until he saw Miller drop his arm, turn around and shoot. According to Sites, Mims said he fired back and shot Johnson first. Because he was still moving, Mims shot Johnson a second time before he left the home.
Mims told Sites he then saw Miller on the ground as if he’d dropped his own weapon. Then he shot Miller, walked home and left town. The FBI added Mims to its 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list in June 2018. Mims was arrested in College Park, Georgia, in August and extradited to Michigan.
On Friday, Solis pointed out to jurors inconsistencies in testimony of some prosecution witnesses, including a former Michigan State Police paid informant.
"He says that I was behind 'Wee-Wee', Mr. Johnson, we were going out and Antwan reaches out and shoots him in the head. That's absolutely contradictory, right?" Solis asked Sites.
"Not to the location of Mr. Mims but the sequence of events, yes," Sites answered.
Solis also questioned the credibility of Johnson's fiancee, Keairra Crum. Mims said they were friends, and she confided in him about abuse by Johnson. Crum, who was also at the party, denied both claims but told jurors Wednesday Johnson would not have approved of her having a friendship with Mims.
Testimony continues Feb. 12.