BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - The defense took the floor Wednesday in the Antwan Mims double-murder trial. Mims’ lawyer tried to make the case that investigators dropped the ball during parts of their probe.
A woman may have taken a gun belonging to Cortez Miller from the crime scene and given it to the victim’s father.
Eusebio Solis, Antwan Mims’ lawyer, said that’s what witnesses told detectives after the March 25 shooting at a house party on Lavette Avenue.
“Did the detectives tell you who these people were that saw this?” Solis asked Benton Harbor Police detective Michael Harmon.
“I can’t recall, sir," Harmon answered.
“That’s pretty important, isn’t it?" Solis asked.
“Yes, it is," Harmon said.
Harmon interviewed Cortez Miller’s father, Brian Miller, in April. The defense asked Harmon why a gunshot residue test was never done.
Harmon said at that time, neither Cortez nor the other victim, Michael Johnson, were believed to be shooters. Other witnesses from the party dispute that the two had a gun.
The prosecution pointed out the detectives did not ignore this tip.
“You showed up to Mr. Miller’s house, banged on the door and he talked to you about it?” prosecuting attorney Jeff Taylor asked Harmon.
“Yes, sir," Harmon responded.
“He, in fact, turned over a gun that turned out to have nothing to do with this case?" Taylor asked.
“That is correct," Harmon replied.
Earlier in the trial, Brian Miller admitted a male relative sold him the gun, something Harmon said he did not know.
In October, authorities raided Miller’s home. They found four guns, none matching evidence from the crime scene.
The defense pointed out that Keairra Crum, Miller's girlfriend, was outside when the shooting happened. Crum, a witness for the prosecution, testified last week that she gave Cortez CPR but did not see a weapon.
Testimony is expected to wrap up Thursday.