Defense Wants Mistrial In Case Of Star Football Player Who Died Shielding Girls From Bullets Because His Mom Got Emotional in Court

By Emma Kerr

During the second day of the football star turned national hero Zaevion Dobson murder trial, police testimony included details of the day Dobson was shot on a porch in 2015. As one of the officers held up clothing worn by Dobson — a black sweatshirt — and other evidence gathered from the scene, Dobson’s mother broke down in tears and left the courtroom.

Christopher Drone Bassett, 22, Richard Gregory Williams III, 23, and Kipling Colbert Jr., 22 are facing charges for allegedly shooting at a group of high school students in Knoxville, TN in December 2015. Dobson, 15, a star on his highschool's football team, was among the group of minors, who had just returned from a high school basketball game on the last day of school before winter break. Prosecutors say 34 shots were fired at the group from at least four different guns, and prosecutors believe there were half a dozen attackers involved, though only three are on trial.

Dobson’s mother, Zenobia Dobson, was reportedly crying so loudly during court Wednesday, defense lawyers argued the jury could no longer be impartial and attempted to persuade the judge to declare a mistrial, WVLT reports. Judge Stephen Sword, who is presiding over this case, denied their request.

“We can all understand a mother's pain,” Sword said, though he urged jurors to judge the case based on the facts presented.

An evidence technician held up for the jury the clothing Dobson was wearing the night he was killed, showing them the bullet holes in the clothing. Prosecutors say Dobson suffered from multiple injuries after attempting to shield a group of girls on the porch from the bullets. He then bled out from his injuries, which included a perforated lung.

Jurors also heard testimony from Tasha Colbert, who owned the home where the shooting took place. She described seeing a black BMW pull out from the home after being alerted to the attack by one of the girls Dobson shielded, but said she could not identify anyone in the vehicle.

“I start hearing the girls call my name, Faith is calling my name. I just started crying and screaming,” Colbert said. “Faith was crying and he was just staring at us and she was like 'It's Zaevion.' [Zach] was like what's going on and he walked through my kitchen and opened the back door and he started crying,” Colbert said. She testified she walked to her back porch and found Dobson face down, then she called 911.

Testimony will continue Thursday morning.


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