We will be posting updates from the courtroom throughout the day. You can watch live on Court TV’s website here. Updates are added to the top of this story. Scroll to the bottom for the original post.
At 3:13 p.m., Judge David Strong released the jury, saying the court still has work to do, but it didn’t involve the jury.
Once the jury left the courtroom, it was made clear that Brookhaven Detective Vincent Fernando had a videotaped interview with D’Monterrio Gibson in his case file that was never released to the District Attorney’s office, and by proxy, never seen by the defense either.
“This file should have been turned over to the DA’s office prior to the indictment, and I mean the entire file,” Strong said to Fernando. “(District Attorney Dee Bates) was told it didn’t exist, and lo and behold on the second day of the trial, we find out it’s actually in your file.”
Strong ordered Fernando to give his entire file to the DA’s office to be passed along to the defense as well after both sides documented times they had requested any and all interviews.
“I’m going to let you all hash out whatever you need to hash out this afternoon and we’ll be back here at 9 tomorrow morning,” Strong said.
BEFORE THE THIRD BREAK:
Brookhaven Detective Vincent Fernando was still on the stand detailing further information of his role in the case under questioning by the prosecution when he answered the question, “Did you find any handguns” by saying he found several long guns. Discussion of shell casings in the yard also came up.
Defense attorney Dan Kitchens called for a mistrial because he said those things were not relevant and were, in fact, prejudicial. Kitchens argued that it was clear that the shell casings in the yard had been there for a while and were unrelated to the night of January 24, as were the long guns, which were perfectly legal for a citizen who is not a convicted felon to have.
Judge David Strong denied the mistrial, but sternly advised Fernando to answer the questions posed to him and not to blurt irrelevant information that might prejudice the jury.
On cross-examination, defense attorney Terrell Stubbs hammered exhaustively on the order in which Fernando questioned both alleged victim D’Monterrio Gibson and defendants Gregory and Brandon Case. Stubbs reminded Fernando that Gregory Case called police first, and asked why he was not questioned first.
“Mr. Gibson is the trespasser,” Stubbs said, arguing that any normal person would see an unfamiliar van at a family member’s home and, not recognizing the driver, try to stop and question him, and then chase him to get the tag number.
“All Mr. Gibson had to do is stop and say, ‘I’m a FedEx driver.’ The Cases didn’t know that,” Stubbs argued. “I think this is the guts of this case, what went wrong. Would that be the normal course of action for a citizen of Lincoln County or Brookhaven: Find out who it is, try to stop them, follow to get a partial tag? Isn’t that a normal circumstance?”
Fernando said the police department gets calls of suspicious vehicles and citizens following them to get tag numbers quite often.
“But Mr. Case called 14 minutes after the fact,” Fernando said, adding later, “I just feel like your client took the law into his own hands.”
Further questioning centered on some map photos of the area.
BEFORE LUNCH BREAK:
After the first recess and before the lunch break, Brookhaven Police Detective Vincent Fernando was called to the stand by District Attorney Dee Bates.
Fernando said he had been given the case of the alleged shooting on Junior Trail after the original report was taken by officer Kennis Montgomery.
On January 25, the morning after the alleged shooting, Fernando said he took D’Monterrio Gibson to Junior Trail with him to understand where all the elements of the incident took place. After that, he and Officer Kelsie Evans and Gibson went to Brookhaven Honda, where Brandon Case was employed at the time.
A video from Evans’ body camera of that interaction was shown, as the officers entered while Gibson stayed outside. Case gave the officers his phone number, as well as those of both his parents.
Bates asked Fernando about the time frame of the phone calls that had been made on the night of January 24 as opposed to when the incident allegedly occurred.
A screenshot of the video from the Fleetway gas station that showed what appeared to be Gibson’s van fleeing from what appeared to be Gregory Case’s truck is marked 7:31 p.m.
At 7:29, Brandon Case called Gregory Case, and at 7:32, Gregory Case called Brandon Case. At 7:38, Gregory Case called Brandon Case again.
Brookhaven Police Department was not called by Gregory Case until 7:45 p.m., Fernando said. Gibson called at 8:05 p.m.
Fernando went on to testify that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation was called to process the Hertz van driven by Gibson, and a projectile was found.
BEFORE THE FIRST RECESS:
The first witness for the prosecution was Brookhaven Police Department Dispatcher Trey Henderson, who took the call from Gregory Case and a second call from D’Monterrio Gibson on the night of the alleged shooting. Henderson’s testimony was used to establish the veracity of the recorded calls.
Following Henderson was Patrick Wilson, who handles legal compliance matters for C-Spire. He spoke about the subpoena of phone call and text records on the day of the incident involving the Cases and Gibson.
Wilson testified that C-Spire was changing from 3G to 4G/5G coverage at the time, explaining that there would be two records, one for each technology. During that time, both sets of records were released in the case of a subpoena because whether they were recorded on both would rely on the model of phone and other details.
Defense attorney Dan Kitchens asked a lot of questions about why the two records showed some calls at different durations, and Wilson said sometimes the call originates on 3G technology and hands off to the 4G/5G technology, meaning that the call time on the second one would be shorter, and the times of call would also show as different because of the delay in the switchover between technologies.
The third witness was Tim Huckaby, who worked at the Fleetway Truck Stop at the north Brookhaven exit in January of 2022. He testified that a detective had come by his place of business to ask if they had surveillance video of a Hertz van and a white pickup truck. Huckaby said he had found about 7 seconds of footage that showed those vehicles, and that only one of the station’s cameras had been turned on at that time.
The video shows the van go by the station, with a white truck following on the road area just visible past the lot the truck stop is on.
The trial for two men accused of shooting at a FedEx driver in Brookhaven is underway.
Brandon Case and his father, Gregory Charles Case, were indicted in the January 2022 incident on charges of attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy and shooting into the vehicle of D’Monterrio Gibson.
Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge David Strong is presiding over the case, which had jury selection and brief opening arguments on Tuesday.
Gibson, who was 24 at the time, was not injured. Gibson was reportedly wearing a FedEx uniform and was driving an unmarked van that FedEx had rented when he dropped off a package.
As Gibson went back to his truck, he noticed a white pickup truck a little ways away and said the driver attempted to cut him off as he tried to leave. Gibson said he swerved around the driver and a second man was in the road with a gun pointed at the van. The man allegedly told him to stop. According to Gibson, the man fired at him, and the pickup chased him to I55.
Attorney Carlos Moore has also filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of Gibson against FedEx, the city of Brookhaven, Brookhaven Police Chief Kenny Collins, Brandon Case and Gregory Charles Case.