In a tearful testimony wherein the witness suffered from apparent gaps in memory, a woman said she saw the defendant in a homicide trial put a gun in his waistband prior to a Frederick man being fatally shot.

Jaemari A. Anderson, 19, died after police say he was shot in the head Sept. 6, 2020, in the Waterside community of Frederick where he lived. Three men were charged with first-degree murder in his death. Brian B. Henry pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to murder, Daniel A. Flythe awaits trial, and Frederick resident Jordan B. Hooks, 29, is amid week three of his jury trial.

Hooks has pleaded not guilty to all 10 charges he faces.

Earlier in the trial, Henry testified Hooks and Anderson agreed to a fight outside Hooks’ residence in the Waterside community after Anderson suggested he was better than the others Sept. 6, 2020. When Anderson turned away from Hooks to take off his glasses before the fight, Henry said Flythe shot Anderson.

The defense on Friday called Tynoura Coleman who declined a suggestion from the judge to speak with an attorney before testifying. She was being held in confinement after failing to respond to a subpoena. The judge released her Friday at the conclusion of her hours-long testimony.

Coleman told the jury she was outside Hooks’ home on Sept. 6, 2020 when she heard what sounded like a gunshot. Earlier that day, she arrived with her then-boyfriend Henry and friend Flythe. Coleman testified Hooks, Flythe and Henry were upset with Anderson, also known as Mari, over a situation with Hooks and a person nicknamed “Nova.”

“Mari was actually playing both sides against each other, wasn’t he?” Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Shoemaker asked Coleman before the defense objected.

Coleman did not know the answer to that question, but testified she contacted Nova through the phone and sent him a conversation the group had with Anderson at Hooks’ residence about his behavior. In response, according to Coleman, Nova told the group over speaker phone to “smack him,” with "him" referring to Anderson. Afterward, she said the men went outside for a fight, but Hooks first grabbed a gun under the couch and stuck it in his waistband.

Coleman testified she did not see who shot Anderson, as she was standing a distance away with Hooks’ girlfriend Kayla Scott smoking a cigarette. When the gunshot rang out, Coleman said she ran to Flythe’s car in the parking lot, not knowing who’d just been shot.

“I was pretty shell-shocked,” Coleman said from the witness stand, pulling down her mask to wipe her face with tissues.

At numerous points in her testimony, Coleman’s voice strained with emotion as she spoke about Anderson. She’d only met him and Hooks the day prior to the shooting, but said Anderson was “pretty cool.”

In contrast, Coleman’s exchange with defense attorney Kevin Watkins grew heated at times, particularly when his questioning sought to determine whether Nova told her to “smack” Anderson.

“Do not blame that on me,” Coleman fired back. “They are all grown men.”

After Coleman had been visibly crying for some time, Watkins asked, “You think there’s enough tears to wash all this trouble away?”

Shoemaker quickly objected to Watkins’ commentary.

In response to Shoemaker’s queries about the events leading up to Anderson’s death, Coleman testified Anderson felt like he was bullied and wanted to show he was tough.

“He was just ... trying to prove himself,” she said.

Coleman admitted she was under the influence of drugs the night of the shooting and when she gave a statement to police, leading Watkins to ask whether she may have hallucinated Hooks possessing a gun. Coleman confidently responded she did not hallucinate at that moment.

As Watkins attempted to learn more about Coleman’s actions following the shooting, many of his questions were met with some variation of, “Can’t recall.”

Watkins tried asking Coleman to identify a drawing of the gun she reportedly made for the police, but she struggled to remember, noting the incident occurred in September 2020. She eventually recalled drawing a picture of a gun for police and said a drawing of the scene included marks from her depicting where she ran to Flythe’s car.

Earlier in the trial, Henry testified he, Coleman and Flythe left in Flythe’s car immediately after the shooting. Henry said Coleman wiped off the gun with a T-shirt before he tossed it out the vehicle window, and when they got to Henry’s residence in Clarksburg, the three of them put their clothes in a trash bag to be burned. Coleman's testimony did not speak to these allegations.

When Watkins questioned Coleman about her whereabouts immediately after the shooting, she couldn’t recall going to Henry’s residence. She also could not remember whether Flythe carried anything with him when he came to the car after the shooting, saying she’d been under the influence of the drug “molly” for three days.

Flythe made an appearance in court Friday, brought in from the detention center, but the jury never saw him. Flythe invoked the Fifth Amendment when the defense started to question him, which protects an individual against self-incrimination. The defense argued Flythe should invoke the Fifth in front of the jury, but Judge Julia A. Martz-Fisher found Hooks would not be prejudiced by Flythe doing so outside the jury’s presence.

Week four of the trial is set to begin Monday, with the defense expected to call more witnesses.

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller 

(3) comments


Recipe for Disaster:

Start with a few thugs.

Add some hard drugs.

Pour in some booze.

Toss in a gun or two.

Mix well.


Elm Street Style!


Defense atty is Bush League, he’s Embarrassing himself with his theatrics.

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