Dondray Fowler was moving while firing his gun, a defense expert witness testified Monday.
Fowler, the alleged gunman of the April 10, 2010, Arrowhead Mall shooting, is charged with first-degree murder and five counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon.
During opening statements last week, defense attorney L. Wayne Woodyard said the defense would prove Fowler, now 21, feared for his life when he fired into a crowd, killing Jarrod Reed, 17, and wounding five others.
During three days of testimony in Muskogee County District Court, Woodyard and Peter Astor, Fowler’s other attorney, have presented a scene where a group of 10 to 11 “northsiders” intimidated Fowler and three other “southsiders,” a scenario ending with Fowler firing at least nine shots and fleeing the mall.
Defense expert witness John Wilson took the stand Monday just after 9 a.m., despite the fact that the State had not finished calling its witnesses. Wilson had flown in from Las Vegas and could only stay one day, so both sides agreed to let him testify out of turn.
Wilson, with more than 30 years in crime scene investigation and re-creation, said it’s his opinion Fowler was on the move when firing the weapon.
“Based on the location of the spent cartridges, there is no way he was standing in place when he was firing the weapon,” Wilson said.
After hours spent reviewing mall security footage and crime scene photographs, Wilson said he determined a 30-foot area where Fowler fired shots.
Crime scene photographs show spent cartridges near the Hibbett Sports’ entrance, near the Stage entrance and down the hallway near the military recruiters’ offices.
Cartridge cases can scatter once they hit the floor, Wilson said, particularly a hard floor such as the mall’s. The ejection pattern can differ based on the way the gun is held, as well, Wilson said.
Wilson also pointed to two specific bullet strikes. A tree in front of where Fowler allegedly fired the gun was struck almost at its base. Another bullet struck the ceiling tile inside the Stage store, which would have been behind and to the right of where Fowler allegedly started firing.
Wilson said these two strike points further indicate a shooter on the move.
Wilson finished testifying about 3 p.m. Wednesday, and the state resumed calling its witnesses, including Donald Fowler, Dondray Fowler’s father, and Walker Stewart.
Stewart was shot in the hip during the attack.
Donald Fowler said he drove Dondray Fowler to an address on South 22nd Street the evening of the shooting. A few days later, Donald said Dondray called him and told him a gun was under his house.
“He told me a gun was under the building and asked me to bring it to him,” Donald Fowler said.
“Did you bring it to him?” Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore asked.
Donald Fowler said he hid the gun in a blue ice chest and put it under the house next door.
Donald Fowler was charged with obstructing an officer for hiding the gun. He pleaded no contest and received a one-year deferred sentence.
Testimony continues at 9 a.m. today.
Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth
The trial for Dondray Fowler, charged with first-degree murder and five counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, continues at 9 a.m. today.
Fowler is the alleged gunman of the fatal April 10, 2010, Arrowhead Mall shooting.