The man responsible for fatally shooting 21-year-old Trevahn Kent as Kent left a York City strip club about 16 months ago didn't fire over a drug dispute or a love triangle, a prosecutor told jurors Monday afternoon.
Instead, Derrick Eugene Johnson fired a .45-caliber bullet into Kent's heart and lungs because a month earlier at the same strip club, Kent's friend had asked Johnson and his friends to move aside so he could keep playing pool, senior deputy prosecutor Duane Ramseur said during his opening statement.
The request led Johnson's group to start a physical fight in the club, he said.
Johnson, 25, of York, is charged with first- and third-degree murder in the Feb. 17, 2013, death of Kent as the victim left Temptations at 617 E. Market St.
"Trevahn Kent did absolutely nothing (wrong)," Ramseur said. "Trevahn Kent lost his life as a result of a pool shot that went bad. Ridiculous, right?"
Killer hid in alcove: But when Johnson and Damian Chaudre Banks spotted Kent a month later at Temptations, Johnson hid in an alcove outside the club for 45 minutes until Kent and his friend, Lamin Goodman, walked out, according to Ramseur.
Johnson fired just once, but the shot was deadly, he said.
Banks, 22, of Hampton, Va., also is charged with Kent's homicide and will be testifying for the prosecution.
Defense attorney Kevin Hoffman, representing Johnson, urged jurors in his opening statement to consider witnesses' motives for testifying. He suggested Banks has motive to blame Johnson for the homicide.
And other than Banks, no other witness can testify they saw Johnson firing the gun, according to Hoffman.
Friend takes stand: Goodman was first on the stand Monday and said he and Kent were close, "kind of like brothers, almost."
He recounted the Jan. 13, 2013, confrontation at a pool table inside Temptations, and said he asked a group of four or five men, including Johnson, to move away from the table so he could take a shot.
"They started acting crazy about it," he said.
Goodman said he and Kent decided to leave the club and avoid any trouble. As they were leaving, Kent said something to the bartender.
According to Goodman, one of Johnson's group thought Kent was talking to him and jumped Kent. Then Johnson jumped Kent as well, Goodman said.
At that point Goodman jumped in as well, he said. He ended up knocked unconscious, while Kent suffered a stab wound to his side.
Second encounter: Shortly after 2 a.m. Feb. 17, 2013, Goodman and Kent were back inside Temptations and spotted Johnson and another man — Banks, police have said — trying to get into the club. They were refused entrance, police have said.
"We decided ... not to leave," Goodman told jurors. "We didn't want to get into any problems."
Goodman said he and Kent stayed at the club for some time, trying unsuccessfully to find rides home. Eventually, they did leave.
Sneaked out: Goodman said the bartender sneaked them out a different exit and first checked the street for Johnson before giving the all-clear.
They hadn't walked far when the shot rang out from behind them, Goodman said.
"Trevahn took off running," he said, and he ran as well. They became separated, so he only later learned his friend had been killed, he testified.
Goodman said he couldn't see who fired the gun.
Other witnesses are expected to testify they saw Johnson and Banks lurking outside the club immediately prior to the shooting.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.