Dameon Mosley didn’t intend to kill store clerk Billy Stacks when he robbed a Conoco gas station in 2017, said Mosley’s defense attorneys in his capital murder trial.
The trial of Mosley, 28, who faces a capital murder charge and could be sentenced to death if convicted in the shooting death of Stacks, 62, of Tyler, began Thursday in the 114th District Court in Tyler. Mosley pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Stacks was a clerk at the Conoco gas station at 3319 NNE Loop 323 when the store was robbed in early hours of Jan. 28. Officials said Stacks was shot several times in his head and shoulder.
Mosley has been in Smith County Jail since Jan. 29, 2017.
Two other suspects, Lamarcus Hannah, 35, and Kedarias Oliver, 26, also face a capital murder charge in the case and have not had their trial yet.
In opening statements, Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman said Hannah, Oliver and Mosley got into a vehicle to rob a place for money after getting off work in Palestine.
Putman told the jury Mosley was the robber, Hannah was the driver and Oliver was the lookout. Mosley went into the gas station, got in Stacks’ face with a gun and shot him twice after a confrontation. He then fled with the store’s cash.
The trio took off in the vehicle and were later pursued by Smith County deputy Cody Deaver to Interstate 20 near U.S. Highway 271, where Mosley ran out of the vehicle and into nearby woods. He couldn’t be found by law enforcement. The car was found later that morning at a church with Mosley’s driver’s license and other items, Putman said.
Stacks was in the hospital one day before dying, Putman said.
“We ask that you find him guilty of capital murder because that’s what he did,” Putman said.
Defense attorney Robbie McClung told the jury Mosley and the other two went to rob the gas station, but Mosley did not intend to end Stacks’ life.
She argued that the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was intent to murder Stacks. Without intent, the offense should be considered felony murder, not capital, McClung said.
“It’s a simple case with a wrong charge,” she said.
McClung told the jury Oliver and Hannah would find a way to point blame toward Mosley.
Conoco store surveillance footage from that night presented in court shows Mosley, dressed in black, jumping on the counter and having a brief confrontation with Stacks. After shooting Stacks, Mosley took some of the money in the cash register.
Shelby Burkes, who was the Conoco store manager at the time, said Mosley took about $1,700 from the store.
The 911 dispatch call made by one of the witnesses was also played for the jury.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Nicholas Andrade, who treated Stacks’ brain injuries, testified that the bullet enter ed the left side of his face and rested behind his right ear. Andrade said the prognosis was grim and the bullet was the cause of Stacks’ brain swelling.
Emily Stevenson, who was an East Texas Medical Center Intensive Care Unit registered nurse, told the jury she helped treat Stacks while he was on life support. Stevenson said Stacks’ wife chose to take him off life support in a heartbreaking moment.
Josh Dardy, the Tyler police officer who was one of the first at the crime scene, testified that he performed a medical assessment on Stacks and tried to secure his head before other officers and EMS arrived.
Ryan Smith, the responding paramedic, testified that the gunshot wound was above Stacks’ left eye. He added that treating Stacks was slightly difficult due to the head trauma.
Tyler Police Department detective Ben Jordan testified that he and other officers searched the store and dumpster area to see if items, such as a gun or money, were left behind by the suspect, but did not find any.
Jordan said he provided his medical kit to assist others with Stacks and worked with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office to build a perimeter in an attempt to locate Mosley in the woods.
A Smith County detective also testified that he collected a bullet and clothing that doctors said was from Stacks and his body.
Testimony is expected to go on for a few weeks, according to court officials.