Jury finds murder suspect guilty on both counts in second trial

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The jury in the re-trial of the man accused of murdering another Fort Wayne man outside a bar in December 2016 found him guilty of both counts.

The jury began deliberating Thursday afternoon in the trial of Quentin Stewart, accused of gunning down 22-year-old Codi Allen McCann in a parking lot behind the East State Bar and Grill on Dec. 6, 2016. Stewart was arrested in Lake County in 2018 on a charge of Murder. Later, a sentence enhancement of Using a Firearm in Commission of Offense where Death Results was added.

This is the second trial Stewart has faced – the first in September ended in a hung jury. He is scheduled to be sentenced January 3, 2020.

In this week’s trial, the prosecution read a transcript from Stewart’s testimony in the first trial in September. Stewart testified that a friend named “City” wanted to by 7 grams of heroin. Stewart asked his girlfriend to drop him off at the bar so the two could discuss the drug deal. He testified that he did not have drugs on him but he was carrying a gun.

When Stewart arrived he saw “City” standing near a red Pontiac with a man he did not know. He saw another man that he did not know sitting in the passenger seat of the car.

Stewart testified that McCann pulled a gun on him, then fired shots first. Stewart said he was shot in the chest and stomach. Stewart said he fired shots back at McCann, before walking back to his girlfriend’s car. During the testimony he said that the gun and shell casings found by investigators were his. Stewart admitted to firing the shots that killed McCann.

On day one, the prosecution and defense teams spent most of the day choosing the jury. Later Tuesday afternoon the lawyers made opening statements and McCann’s mother, Stacey Davis, took the stand.

On day two of the trial, the jury heard testimony from witnesses who were at the bar on the night of the shooting. One of the witnesses was McCann’s best friend, Zach Bailey, who drove him to the bar that night.

Bailey testified that he went to East State Bar and Grill to sell a pound of marijuana to Dorian Jefferson who went by the street name “City Boy.” He planned to sell it for $1,800. Bailey said he took McCann with him because he “felt uneasy” about the drug deal that day and McCann had a gun.

Bailey testified that he went inside the bar to take a shot with “City Boy.” When the two came outside, he noticed his window was shattered and McCann was unresponsive.

Bailey ran for help and “City Boy” left the scene.

Two women also took the stand Wednesday. One was Stewart’s current girlfriend, the other is an ex-girlfriend of Jefferson.

Stewart’s girlfriend said they had been dating since Nov. 2016. She testified that Stewart asked her to drop him off at State Bar and Grill that night. Minutes later, she said Stewart called to tell her he had been shot. She turned around and picked him up to take him to the hospital.

Jefferson’s ex-girlfriend said the two were dating at the time of the fatal shooting. She allowed Jefferson to driver her black Jeep that night. She testified that he came home in a panic and said “things went bad.” He also told her his friend got shot, she said. She took Jefferson to the hospital with an ankle injury.

It was around 10 p.m. that December night when police and medics were called to the parking lot of the bar, near East State Boulevard and California Avenue.  Responders arrived and pronounced  McCann dead.     

Another person was also shot, taken to a hospital privately and determined to be critically hurt. According to a probable cause affidavit, that person was Stewart.

Stewert showed no emotion as the verdict came down. He maintained his innocence even after he was found guilty of the murder, opting to let the jury decide his guilt in the sentence enhancement in lieu of admitting guilt himself. After 3 continuances and a hung jury, Davis said it is a relief to see the guilty verdict.

“I fought for three years to get here and we got a guilty verdict. I’m ecstatic, So many emotions, it’s been a long road,” said Davis. “Anytime you take it to a jury trial it’s a crap shoot. I mean, you don’t know the perspectives of the jurors, I mean everyone’s perspective is different and sees things differently. So, you never know when you take it to a jury trial.”

Prosecutors on the case said they could not comment until sentencing was complete.

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