Rumors of sex act at prom sparked fatal shooting, attorney says

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ANN ARBOR, MI — Rumors that a 21-year-old Ypsilanti woman performed oral sex on her prom date in high school are at the center of a murder trial.

Defense attorney Michael J. Vincent says 22-year-old Camae Abrahams and 20-year-old James Freeman encountered Abrahams’ former high school prom date, 20-year-old, Deandr’e Willingham, while walking in the Sycamore Meadow Apartments complex on MacArthur Boulevard in Superior Township about 1 p.m. on Oct. 8, 2017.

Abrahams, angry after hearing that Willingham was spreading a lie that she’d performed oral sex on Willingham at their prom, became “very upset,” Vincent said.

“Miss Abraham hit Mr. Willingham in the face,” Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor Nimish Ganatra said during his opening statements on Monday, May 13.

Ganatra said Willingham, in response, raised his fist, as if to strike Abrahams, but then lowered his arm and began to walk away when Freeman pulled out a gun and opened fire, striking Willingham three times.

Willingham died a short time later.

Facing up to life in prison, Freeman is charged with open murder — although the assistant prosecutor is asking Washtenaw Trial Judge Darlene A. O’Brien to find him guilty of first-degree murder — felony use of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon. Abrahams is charged with being an accessory after the fact to open murder.

The assistant prosecutor said Abrahams and Freeman have a child together.

Ganatra said the parents fled the scene in a gray Volkswagen Jetta owned by Abrahams and were later recorded on surveillance cameras entering a Walmart in Livonia, where they purchased cell phones. One to two days later, U.S. Marshals arrested Abrahams at her sister’s home and seized her vehicle.

Inside the glove box investigators discovered a 9-mm bullet, which matched the caliber of bullets used to kill Willingham, Remington firearm cleaning solutions and a Walmart receipt that linked the pair to the surveillance video and vehicle.

Freeman later surrendered to Washtenaw County sheriff’s officials.

Vincent, who is representing Freeman, claims his client acted in self defense, believing his or Abrahams’ life might be in danger.

After raising his fist aggressively toward Abrahams, Vincent said Willingham dropped his hand “down to his waist,” where a gun might be concealed.

Freeman “panicked, got scared, pulled out a gun and shot him,” Vincent said. Willingham was “shot in the front, spun around and then he was shot in the buttocks and shot in the back

” … Once the punch landed, the bullets were flying very close afterward.”

James Humphries, who is representing Abrahams, argued that his client wasn’t aware Freeman shot Willingham because there were numerous people outside that warm October day and she was walking away when the gunfire rang out.

“My client did strike the victim but did no more … ” Abrahams said. ” … She did not know that Mr. Freeman was in fact the shooter.”

“The positioning .. would require her to have eyes in the back of her head.”

One witness, who was subpoenaed to testify and seemed agitated by her forced appearance on the witness stand, said she watched the argument and shooting but couldn’t ID either Abrahams or Freeman as the culprit.

Another witness, who testified he is a family friend of the victim and was nearby during the shooting, did ID Freeman as the shooter and Abrahams as the woman who “slapped” Willingham.

Testimony is expected to conclude Tuesday. The defendants have selected a bench trial, meaning the judge, not a jury, will determine the verdict.

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2019-05-13 18:25:00
Image credit: source

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