Hill testifies in own defense
By Ethan Smith
Published in News on April 20, 2017 10:13 AM
Both the prosecution and defense rested Wednesday in the ongoing first-degree murder trial of Alquan De-shawn Hill.
Hill took the stand in his own defense Wednesday.
He is accused of taking part in the killing of a 21-year-old mother of three, Shanekqua Adriana Thompson, on Oct. 31, 2014.
Thompson died after eight men -- identified through testimony as Hill, Cequon Phillips, Rahmel Phillips, Davine Carr, Anthony Graham, Joshua Collins and two men known only as "Spazz" and "First 48" -- allegedly chased down a van she was in and shot into it nearly 50 times.
While many of the details remained the same between Hill's version of events and those testified to under oath by Phillips and Collins, several key points were substantially different.
Hill testified that Phillips shot a gun out of his car toward the van, whereas Phillips testified Hill fired the gun.
Video evidence shown at the trial shows eight men in two vehicles chasing down the van Thompson and three other men were in at the intersection of Sixth and Humphrey Streets.
Collins testified he drove the Ford Expedition, and all three men testified that Hill drove the Honda Accord involved in the chase.
Where the stories conflict is why the men came to Goldsboro that night, and who made the call to follow the van out of the McDonald's parking lot and chase it down Wayne Memorial Drive onto Sixth Street.
Hill maintains Graham woke him up to join the crew for a fight with several guys that jumped him at Camron's Clubhouse prior to Oct. 31, 2014.
Collins and Phillips, however, testified that the eight men were coming to Goldsboro to return the favor to a group of men they believe shot at Graham's car in an earlier incident.
Another point of contention centered around several phone calls made that night by Hill.
Collins and Phillips testified that Hill called Graham and told the men inside the Expedition -- identified as Collins, Graham, Carr and "Spazz" -- to follow the van, as it was the same one involved in shooting at Graham prior.
Hill testified he called Graham at the same time the van pulled out of the McDonald's parking lot on Wayne Memorial Drive to tell Graham he was about to go home because he was tired, and Graham urged him to follow the Expedition.
Phillips, who was sitting behind Hill, testified Hill called Graham to tell him that was the van they were looking for, and he needed to pull out behind it as it left.
Graham was in the Expedition driven by Collins, which was parked across the street at a gas station.
Video evidence shows both cars getting behind the van and heading down Wayne Memorial Drive.
Hill testified that after the other men in the cars shot into the van he was concerned about who was inside the van.
Prosecutor Davis Weddle asked him if he was concerned, to tell him when he called 911.
He never did.
Phillips and Collins did not tell law enforcement many details in their initial statements, instead confessing to their own involvement and agreeing to testify to what Hill and others were doing as part of their plea agreements.
Hill did, however, tell law enforcement -- in two separate statements -- that Phillips was shooting out of his car, and denied any of his own involvement.
He maintained that same statement during his testimony Wednesday.
But, his testimony also revealed he could not remember whether the driver's side window was up or down, despite also testifying he could hear Phillips firing the shots and see his arm out the window.
Video evidence shown at the trial shows a muzzle flash erupting forward from the driver's side of the car, near the front of the car.
Hill says Phillips is responsible for those shots.
Phillips says Hill fired the gun.
Weddle grilled Hill on why he never called 911, to which Hill said he was scared of the man known only as "First 48."
Hill said he felt "verbally threatened" by "First 48" telling him to "Go, go, drive bro, go," which is why his car is seen in video evidence speeding down Humphrey Street behind the van and Expedition -- he admitted to stepping on the gas.
He also said he felt so threatened by "First 48" after the fact, it caused him to shy away from ever calling 911 or telling police what happened since he feared what retribution.
Closing arguments in the case will begin at 2 p.m. today, and jury deliberation will begin after closing arguments are finished.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Hill faces life in prison.
Hill is also charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and discharging a firearm into occupied property in conveyance and operation resulting in serious bodily injury.