Teen admits to 2019 killing of woman, 18, mid-trial


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A teenager accused of killing an 18-year-old woman days before Christmas in 2019 has pleaded guilty during his criminal trial.

Senaca James, 18, pleaded guilty to murder and using a firearm in the killing of Dominique Taylor at a Fort Wayne apartment complex Dec. 22, 2019, when he was 16.

Arrest photo of Senaca James

Taylor was struck by gunfire around 10:30 p.m. in the Villa Capri Apartments complex, on Fox Point Trail southeast of the intersection of South Anthony Boulevard and Decatur Road.

According to a probable cause affidavit, there was a fight between a group of girls earlier that day. One of the girls was being asked to move out of an apartment. As a result, there was a dispute over the return of property and money.

Taylor and another girl went to the Villa Capri Apartments after “exchanging words” on social media with one of the girls.

James told police he was there when Taylor was shot. He said she was lured to the Villa Capri complex under the guise of buying marijuana edibles, according to the probable cause affidavit.

James admitted to having a gun in his hands and firing shots in the air, court documents said. Taylor refused to get out of the car, though. James told police the crowed started saying “shoot her bro, shoot her.” Then someone took the gun from him and shot Taylor with it, the affidavit said.

A witness told police that she saw someone trying to open the front passenger door of the car where Taylor was sitting. She also saw two men standing near the car. She told police one of them opened fire, according to court documents.

Fort Wayne Police crime scene technicians found multiple 380 caliber shell casings on the ground outside of the vehicle, court documents said.

A male, identified in court documents as a “co-participant” said James and two others admitted to him that they killed Taylor because of a fight that happened hours prior to the shooting.

He said the Taylor was killed because she allegedly pointed a gun at another woman – James’ aunt.

During an interview with police, James said that a “co-participant” was in possession of three handguns. He admitted that he held, touched and manipulated all three guns. He told police he believed his DNA would be on all of them.

Dawann L. Martin Jr., who was 15 at the time, is also charged with murder in the case. He’s set to stand trialin February.

James will be sentenced Dec. 3.

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