Devondre Davis was 16 when he was shot in the head in a Tacoma apartment and then dumped into a garbage bin.
Pierce County prosecutors say Davis’ death in September 2011 was cold-blooded murder.
Defense attorneys call it a tragic accident.
The man who pulled the trigger, either on purpose or inadvertently, went on trial Thursday in Superior Court.
Anthony Clark, 21, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Prosecutors allege he shot Davis in the back of the head so he could steal the teenager’s crack cocaine, which he later tried to sell. The shooting occurred Sept. 7 in the apartment of Clark’s mother in the 500 block of East 36th Street.
“To add insult to injury, he then took his body and stuffed it into a garbage can and took him out to the curb like he was some kind of common trash,” deputy prosecutor Fred Wist said during opening statements.
Several neighbors are prepared to testify that Clark asked them later that day to help him sell some cocaine and ultimately told them he’d killed Davis, Wist told jurors.
“The defendant said, ‘I did what I had to do,’” the deputy prosecutor said.
Police found Davis in a neighbor’s trash can and a pistol and vial of crack cocaine in the toilet tank in the apartment, Wist said.
Defense attorney Jane Melby told the jury Davis’ death was an accident. Melby said Clark and Davis were friends.
Clark did ask the neighbors for help selling some cocaine, but his request came while Davis was still alive, Melby said. When the neighbors declined to help, he and Davis decided to find something in the apartment to sell, she said.
Her client, who has a low IQ and learning disabilities, was holding Davis’ gun while the teen looked through a closet for jewelry or other items to steal, Melby said.
“Anthony has never held a gun in his life, and he accidentally shoots Devondre,” she said.
The trial is expected to stretch into next week.Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644 adam.lynn@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/crime @TNTadam