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Defendant says he knew nothing about robbery

By Staff | Aug 7, 2009

Jurors listened to audio Thursday of Damion Shearod telling police his version of events leading up to the fatal shooting of his friend during a botched robbery attempt.
An eight-person jury must decide if Shearod, 22, is guilty in connection to the incident that ended with the death of 21-year-old John Patrick Moore Jr., reportedly as the two attempted to rob Cape Coral resident Jacob Seckler at his home May 16, 2007.
Moore was killed when Seckler gained control of Moore’s revolver and shot him, and Shearod has been charged as a principal in the death.
He faces the charges of second-degree murder with a firearm, attempted armed robbery with a firearm and armed burglary.
“I just don’t want you guys to think I had anything to do with this,” jurors heard Shearod tell officers in the recorded interview.
Shearod maintained that he knew nothing of the robbery or of Moore’s .357-caliber Magnum Smith and Wesson revolver until Moore pointed it at Seckler.
Moore called him and asked that the two go to Cape Coral with Moore’s girlfriend, Jazzmyne Carrol-Love, so Moore could run an errand, Shearod told police.
He said they talked about girls, not a robbery, as they waited for Carrol-Love to arrive at Moore’s apartment so the three could leave together.
When the group drove past Seckler’s home a second time, Shearod noticed but said he thought nothing sinister of it.
Even as Moore exited the vehicle to approach Seckler in his yard, Shearod said he thought Moore was only picking something up from the residence.
“(Moore) said (to Shearod), ‘You better come up there with me,'” Shearod said.
“(Moore) pulls his gun out, says ‘Lay down’ (to Seckler). I won’t ever forget that look. (Seckler) gave us a look like, ‘Who are you guys?'”
Shearod said Seckler refused to lay down and a confrontation between Seckler and Moore occurred at the front door, at which point Moore’s gun dropped to the ground.
As Moore and Seckler struggled for the gun, Shearod fled, he said.
“I heard three to four shots, and when I looked back I saw my car drive off. I thought (Moore) grabbed the gun and shot (Seckler), so I got scared,” Shearod told the officers. “I thought, ‘They’re going to pin this on me.'”
According to testimony by Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Robert Pfalzgraf, one of the shots fired by Seckler hit Moore in the left side of his back. The bullet severed his pulmonary veins and aortic artery, causing him to bleed to death in Seckler’s front yard.
The state rested its case Thursday against Shearod, and the defense will call its first witness at 9:15 a.m. today.
The defense anticipates Shearod will take the stand in his own defense, and council may call one additional witness.
The state may present a rebuttal, then attorneys will give their closing arguments. After the judge’s instructions on the law, the jury will begin deliberations.