Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mormon Missionary Testifies Against Shooter

Morgan W. Young, of Bountiful, was on one knee, writing down the name and number of a man he and his missionary companion had met while proselytizing.

Fellow Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionary Joshua Heidbrink, of Greeley, Colo., was by Young's side as the two prepared to end their day on the streets of Deep Creek on the day after New Year's 2006.

They saw a man up the street backing away from a house, his arm extended. There was a gunshot, then the hooded man with a gun ran toward them.

"It was very quick," Heidbrink testified Wednesday in Chesapeake Circuit Court.

Heidbrink said he recalled two flashes. The first sent him to the ground.

"Then I saw another flash, and then I heard a bang from a pistol,'' he said.

The second shot sent 21-year-old Young face-first to the rain-soaked pavement. He had been shot in the head and would soon be dead.

Heidbrink tried to wake his companion, but there was no response. He went for help at the nearby Charity House.

"I opened up my raincoat and suit coat and saw the blood running down my chest,'' Heidbrink testified. He had been shot in the shoulder.

Heidbrink was a prosecution witness in the trial of James Boughton Jr. The 21-year-old is charged with first-degree murder, malicious wounding, attempted malicious wounding and three counts of use of a firearm.

Police had shown Heidbrink a photo lineup of six people after the shooting.

"I could not identify anybody," he testified.

Commonwealth's Attorney Nancy Parr and Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney D.J. Hansen used the testimony of another witness, 19-year-old Mario Felton, in an attempt to tie Boughton to the shootings.

Felton and Boughton had gone to the Elkhart Street duplex of Gregory "Life" Banks Jr. They laid in wait for Banks outside his home, Felton said.

Felton and Banks were feuding over $80 in drug money.

"Why were you going to go over there?" Hansen said.

"To beat him up," Felton said.

Boughton had a gun that night and wore a black hoodie, Felton said. Boughton waited at one end of the house; Felton waited behind the other end of the duplex.

Felton testified that he ran away when he heard a car coming. As he ran, he noticed two white men, with a black man on the street nearby, he said.

He continued to run and heard a single shot, he said. Then there were two more. Then, he testified, Boughton ran up behind him yelling a racial slur and said, "I got them. I got them."

Felton admitted to hiding the 9 mm handgun Boughton was carrying. He also gave police a statement when they approached him about his actions that night.

"I told them that I shot the gun three times," he testified.

He said that was a lie to cover for Boughton, a friend he often referred to as "Sleep.''

"I was trying to protect Sleep. Then I started thinking, for what?" he testified.

Andrew Sacks, Boughton's attorney, is expected to cross-examine Felton today when the trial resumes. by the Virginia Pilot

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