First full day of testimony for Double Churches Park murder trial

COLUMBUS, Ga. —  The first full day of testimony wrapped up Wednesday in the trial of three men charged with killing a man in the middle of a Columbus park in broad daylight in June 2016.

Derian Waller, A’keveius Powell, and Jacquawn Clark are suspected of shooting and killing 24-year-old Demonde Dicks Jr. in 20-16 at Double Churches Park.

Several members of the Columbus Police Department testified Wednesday including Detective Mark Scruggs.

He and his sergeant interviewed Clark the same day as the shooting after police say Clark told them he had information about what happened.

“The next thing he knows is Mr. Dicks being shot, falling to the ground and Mr. Clark running off,” Scruggs said.

According to Scruggs, Clark said in his first interview with police that his cousin was the one who shot Dicks in the back of the head.

After the interview, Clark was free to go home, but police say he came back for more questioning.

During the second interview, Scruggs said he noticed a change in Clark’s behavior after he and his sergeant brought up text messages between Clark, Powell and Waller.

“He became very nervous,” Scruggs said. “His voice raised, body movements became more exaggerated, he even began to get the white crust around the edge of his lips from dry mouth and also verbally requested for water.”

In Tuesday’s opening statements, the state claimed text messages showed Clark, Waller and Powell discussed the idea of killing Dicks and taking his money, which totaled around $40,000.

Scruggs also said Clark told him Dicks was in town to “make moves” and only stay in Columbus for a few hours.

The prosecution claims Dicks was a member of the “Money Sex Murder” gang in Atlanta, which is affiliated with the Bloods gang.

Trial resumes Thursday at 9 a.m.

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