The murder trial of a Yorkville man continues to unfold in Oneida County Court. Ricky Woods Jr. is accused of murdering Jamal Mathis in 2015. Over a dozen people gave their recollection of what happened the night of the after party, in the early morning hours of December 19, 2015.
While many witnesses have a different recollection of what happened that night, they all have a similar memory--talking to Jamal Mathis, watching him walk out the back door, hearing gunshots 10-15 minutes later, and never seeing him again.
"I heard two shots, then a pause and then like, six or seven after that," said KaWanda Mathis, Mathis' Sister.
After the gun shots, everyone in the house hid. But KaWanda said it wasn't long before the defendant, Ricky Woods Jr., who also goes by the nickname, "Boobie," walked back into the house and told party-goers not to worry.
"And then, Boobie said, 'That wasn't about nothing. Turn the music back up,'" KaWanda said.
Mathis' other sister said the woman throwing the party got angry with Woods.
"She asked him, 'What did you do? That's why I didn't want you here.' She was yelling at him," said LaVonda Mathis, Mathis' Sister.
This statement, objected by the defense and sustained by the judge. In cross, Defense Attorney, Devin Garramone, asked about a man named Craig Ponder who was questioned by police for shell casings found in his jacket at the party, and never spoken to again. Witnesses testified that Ponder was running security at the back door.
"Do you know if he was armed," Garramone asked.
"No," LaVonda said.
"Okay, typically do you know if the security guards are usually armed at these after parties," Garramone asked.
"No," LaVonda said.
But other witnesses remember seeing a different person with a firearm...Ricky Woods.
"But as I saw him, he was hyped--hands going, but I see the gun, the brown handle of the gun," said Emma Bailey, a friend of the Mathis family.
Woods wasn't' the only armed man at that party. Witnesses say Mathis placed his pistol on the DJ table as soon as he walked in, nobody seeing that weapon again either.
Later in the day, Damarkus Smith told the court that Woods has told him several times the story of when he killed Mathis.
"He used to brag about he basically shot and killed him when they were young and how he did a lot of things at my age and stuff like that," Smith said.
Smith said Woods told him it happened on the corner of Eagle and Leeds Street, right near the after party. But Garramone recited Smith's prior testimony to a grand jury, where Smith states the shooting happened a block away.
"And do you remember giving the answer that my client told you this incident happened near Knockout Pizzeria," Garramone asked.
"Yes," Smith said.
Testimony was cut short after a fight occurred in the hallway of the court, where several witnesses scheduled to testify left as a result of the altercation. Those witnesses will be taking the stand tomorrow, instead.
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