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Witnesses Too Scared To Testify In Gang Murder Trial

(Memphis) It took police three months to find the guy who witnesses say killed 18-year-old Devail Lewis outside the Westwood Community Center.

Darnavius Wayne hid in Middle Tennessee after the shooting.

"At that time that it happened, the night that it happened, I saw the helicopters flying down here," said Marvin McNeal, Westwood.

Seventeen years old at the time of the murder, the suspect is in juvenile court.

Witnesses however are too scared to testify because gangs are involved.

Neighbors say they're often bold.

"This guy was walking down the street and got his pistol obviously in the back of his pants," said Eva Arvelo, Westwood.

The prosecutor trying the case told the judge one witness told him he was afraid and didn't want to get involved.

Lewis wasn't a gang member or even the target of the bullet that day but the gang member he was sitting next to was.

"We have to make sure people are held accountable for their actions. We can't let people intimidate us out of doing the right thing," said Weirich.

The judge issued warrants for police to arrest the witnesses and hold them in jail until the next hearing. The question is will they cooperate then.

Weirich said, "People say why can't you just drag them in and make them tell what happened the night my son died. We can't do that. We can't force people to come in and talk."

The case is rescheduled for March 6th.


Filed in: News

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