'Bro, they're shooting': Defendant in murder trial alleges friend had the gun
The man on trial this week, charged in the murder of a 17-year-old girl about two years ago, put the gun in his co-defendant’s hand as he recounted his version of the shooting.
DaiQuan Dickerson, 20, testified in his defense Friday, the fifth day of his trial, after prosecutors rested their case. He told the jury about the series of events that led to the gunfire as he drove a car up next to one driven by Emily Shoemaker outside William Penn Senior High School the evening of Dec. 12, 2019. She died shortly after the incident, and two boys in her car were injured.
“Did you fire any shot at all into that car?” asked Farley Holt, Dickeron’s attorney.
“No, sir,” he replied.
The testimony contradicted a statement Dickerson’s co-defendant, Sterling Frantz, made Thursday, in which he said Dickerson pulled the trigger.
Both men are charged with first- and third-degree murder along with conspiracy to commit murder. The trial ended for the week after Dickerson's testimony and is scheduled to resume Monday with closing arguments.
On Friday, Holt asked Dickerson about the situations leading up to and after the shooting. Dickerson said he and his girlfriend at the time, Caylah Webb, stayed with Frantz and his girlfriend at Frantz’s apartment along North Newberry Street, calling Frantz his “little big brother.”
Dickerson described his role as a marijuana supplier and how he fronted pot for Frantz to sell and how he expected money from those deals — he noted Frantz still owes him a couple hundred dollars.
Throughout the week, testimony, including Frantz’s, included details about how Frantz, 23, was robbed during a pot deal. Frantz had met with Shoemaker outside his apartment to sell her about a half-ounce of weed, and alleged that a teen in her car, Furhman Dennis, popped up from the back seat and choked him from behind while another teen, Tyrese Dugan, held his feet. They stole the marijuana, leaving Frantz to go back inside empty-handed.
Dickerson said he was not involved in the deal with Shoemaker, and he was in his room with Webb when it went down. After the robbery, he said, Frantz burst into his room and announced he’d been robbed and pistol-whipped. Dickerson described him as “mad and scared.”
Dickerson kicked Frantz out of the room. He said he went outside about a half-hour later, asking Frantz to ride with him to get some blunts to smoke and to pick up a friend of his, Jujuan Watts.
They took Webb’s car, Dickerson said, describing their route from Newberry Street, saying they smoked and listened to music but never talked about the robbery.
“At no point did Sterling say anything to you about the fact that he had just been robbed?” District Attorney Dave Sunday asked.
“No sir,” Dickerson said.
At about Princess Street and Court Avenue, Dickerson said, what he now knows was Shoemaker’s car, a green Kia Soul, came up from the opposite direction and turned left in front of them. Frantz then tapped him on the shoulder, Dickerson said, and told him to start following the Kia.
“Only thing he kept saying was, ‘Follow the car,’ and I followed the car,” Dickerson said.
Frantz earlier said Dickerson was aggravated during the car ride and making comments about being tired of losing money. When they came up to the Kia, Frantz alleged, Dickerson wanted him to identify it, but he refused to either confirm or deny in order to avoid a confrontation. Dickerson denied asking Frantz to ID the vehicle.
But Dickerson did follow the Kia onto College Avenue. Between Lindberg Avenue and Beaver Street, near St. Patrick Church, he said, Shoemaker slammed on her brakes, and he drove into the opposite lane in order to avoid a rear-end collision.
In the process, he said, he dropped his phone and his blunt, burning his pants. He reached down to pick up his phone, and the sound of gunfire caused him to jolt his head back up and swear at Frantz.
“‘What the [expletive] are you doing?’ And he said, ‘Bro, they’re shooting,’” Dickerson testified.
He said he saw Frantz firing a gun with his left hand at about chest-level out the passenger-side window, across from the high school after they passed the intersection with Beaver Street. He added that he didn’t know if Frantz opened fire on the Kia or if he was returning fire at someone shooting from the Kia, and also said he didn’t know how many shots were fired since they went off so fast.
Following the shots, Dickerson testified, he peeled onto Pershing Avenue. Shoemaker kept driving straight, injured, until crashing her Kia into a tree just past Cookes House Lane. She died from gunshot wounds a short time later. Dennis and Dugan, who were in the car with her, were also injured.
Frantz had testified that as they came up next to Shoemaker’s car, Dickerson rolled down the passenger window, pulled a gun from a hoodie pocket and fired across his face multiple times at the Kia. He said he reclined his seat back to avoid getting shot, and over the gunfire he heard screaming coming from the Kia.
Dickerson testified that after the shooting he drove some more and picked up Watts. He said Frantz asked the teen to check for any shell casings in the back seat, and Watts picked a few of them up.
Back at Frantz’s apartment, Dickerson said, he saw a bullet through the interior of a car door. Inside, after speaking to Webb about the situation, he said he took a shower and then asked Frantz to go buy him sweatpants from Walmart.
He again disputed earlier testimony in which Frantz had said that Dickerson had asked how many times he had fired his gun and bragged about killing Shoemaker. He also denied assertions that he had unloaded a gun in the bathroom, told Frantz to get rid of his clothes because they might be covered in gunshot residue, or that any clothes were thrown away.
“Did you even touch a gun at all that day?” Holt asked.
“No, sir,” Dickerson replied.
Dickerson also denied ever having or keeping a gun.
He and Frantz were arrested several days after the shooting as part of the investigation.
After questioning another witness, Holt rested his case, which set the trial up for closing arguments to begin. But with the trial heading into the late afternoon Friday, Judge Gregory Snyder sent the jury home and scheduled closing arguments to begin around noon Monday.
The York County District Attorney's Office entered 178 exhibits as evidence to be considered. Holt entered 35 exhibits, attorneys noted.
Though Frantz faces the same charges as Dickerson, his case has not progressed since March 2020, according to court records. He said at trial he hopes for some kind of consideration for his testimony.
Webb, meanwhile, is also charged in the case with counts of hindering prosecution, obstruction of law enforcement and tampering with evidence. She’s accused of discarding clothes Dickerson and Frantz wore the night of the shooting.
— Aimee Ambrose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.