A jury got to see firsthand how a stray bullet has impacted the life of an Orlando teenager who was struck in the head as she rode in a minivan on the way home from church on a Sunday evening of July 29, 2012.
The family of Danielle Sampson wheeled the disabled girl into an Orange County courtroom on Wednesday. Tyrone Mosby is charged with attempted murder in the shooting of Danielle who floats in and out of consciousness in a wheelchair.
Seeing Danielle did not persuade Mosby to tell his side of the story. Mosby and prosecution witness Andre Enmond have refused to testify in the case. Enmond is involved in a unrelated racketeering case with the 20-year-old Mosby and had cut a deal with prosecutors to testify against him. Enmond was offered immunity, but that wasn't enough.
"It was all a misunderstanding," he said on the stand, much to the frustration of the prosecution. "All I was doing was clearing my name up about the situation," he said.
Prosecutors said that, in earlier statements, Enmond told them he saw Mosby in a car identified in the shooting. Enmond denied saying that, and when lawyers asked him to look the Sampsons in the eyes and explain his actions, he replied, "I pray everyday that girl will see a better day."
After a recess, Enmond was brought back before Circuit Judge Julie O'Kane who sentenced him to 179 days in jail for contempt of court following his refusal to testify.
Tuesday saw emotional testimony from Danielle's family and the prosecution's key witness, Chester Joseph, the man who is pointing the finger at Mosby.
Joseph testified he caught Mosby trying to break into his home on July 29, 2012. He said he immediately pursued him, but then Mosby started firing shots into the neighborhood, and he fled.
"I heard gunshots. Pow, pow, pow, pow pow pow," Joseph testified.
Authorities say one of those shots hit Danielle.
The defense argues Joseph's testimony can't be trusted, because he's a convicted felon and former drug dealer who admits lying in the past. But Joseph says he's telling the truth this time, because he's seen Danielle and wants her and her family to have closure.
"This is not about me. This is about a little innocent girl that got shot that will never be able to drive a car, that probably won't be able to ever have a boyfriend and won't be able to enjoy life like I can," Joseph said.
Danielle's parents, Justin and Alma Fletcher, spoke with the media following the end of Wednesday's court session.
"He [Mosby] did not take the stand in his own defense. Do you think that says something?," asked Alma Fletcher. "I don't want to talk about him."
The family says they have been burdened with extraordinary medical bills and have established a website for those who wish to make a donation to help offset Danielle's medical costs: www.gofundme.com/supportdanielle.
Closing arguments are expected to begin on Thursday.