Sedgwick County, Kansas (TFC) –
Defense Attorney reveals to jury when gang member Spires entered Kyler Carriker’s phone number into his cell phone, instead of putting Carriker’s name, Spires typed in “Hit.”
Yesterday, the jury heard opening statements in the Carriker Felony Murder trial. The Prosecution told the jury that Carriker “wanted to sell drugs to Dennis Haynes.” This allegation is contrary to the evidence presented in previous trials, the police reports in this case and the position of the defense.
Prior to the murder, Carriker had never met Dennis Haynes. As I reported when the trial began, Carriker was duped by a former classmate from High School that was setting him up for the robbery and murder from the very beginning.
Carriker had a chance run in with Lorenzo Spires, a former classmate and now gang member, while they were both waiting for a train to pass by. Carriker gave Spires his phone number. When Spires entered the number in to his own phone instead of putting Carriker’s name, he typed in “Hit”.
The Prosecution discussed the interrogation of Carriker right after he was shot. They claimed inconsistencies existed in some of Carriker’s statements. The initial interviews of Carriker took place just after police removed Carriker from the hospital, mere hours after he had been shot, while he was in extreme pain, in shock, and heavily sedated with pain narcotics administered by doctors. Even then, nothing in his statements indicated anything other than that Carriker was a victim of a robbery and attempted murder.
Defense Attorney Sarah Swain told the jury how Spires ended up giving his phone to a man named Clifton Parks. Parks was a stranger to Carriker, and to this day, the two have never met. Parks contacted Carriker and told him that Spires gave him his number, and that he wanted to buy marijuana. He mentioned four ounces. Parks did not go to the home of Kyle Beltz, the person who actually knew the person who had the marijuana to sell. That seller was murder victim Ronald Betts.
Instead, Spires showed up at Kyle Beltz’ home with two other men, John Carter, and the previously mentioned Dennis Haynes. Carriker had never met or spoken to Haynes or Carter. Carriker had no idea that these men were known gang members, or that Haynes had recently been acquitted on a separate, unrelated murder charge.
In their trials, Parks and Spires testified that they never had any money, or any intention of purchasing marijuana that night. Their only intention was to commit robbery and murder. This was a “HIT” from the very beginning.
Attorney Swain attempted to tell the jury about the plea bargains the State entered into with the gang members in this case. Objecting, and out of hearing of the jury, the State asked the court to not allow this information be given to the jury unless these witnesses were called to testify. The Prosecutor informed the court that Haynes, Carter, Beltz and Parks would not be called to testify. Only Spires would be called to testify. Judge Pullman sustained the objection.
If the prosecution is to be believed that Carter, Haynes and Beltz will not be called to testify, then they are conducting a felony murder prosecution, with access to the planners and trigger man, against a person who the Prosecution knows: had no knowledge of the plan, no motive, did not know Haynes the shooter, did not know they were in a gang, did not fire a single shot, was in fact shot himself twice and has no criminal record, without even letting the jury hear from the actual trigger man and conspirators.
Many supporters of Kyler are watching the trial as well as protesting outside the courthouse. Jennifer Winn, Kyler’s mother, continues to post video updates throughout each day. Jennifer recently ran for Governor in Kansas, receiving 37% of the vote in the GOP Primary. Human Rights Organization. Human Solution International, also wrote a letter to Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett calling for the end of this prosecution.
In Prosecuting Kyler Carriker the Sedgwick County District Attorney is not seeking Justice.
Mike Shatz of The Fifth Column News and Kansas Exposed also contributed to this article.