Debra Plummer sobbed on the witness stand Wednesday as she recalled the night last September when her 20-year-old granddaughter, Terrilyn Williams, was shot dead outside her west Macon apartment, struck by a bullet that prosecutors contend was fired by a teenager she didn’t even know.
Williams’ slaying prompted a candlelight vigil last autumn amid a much-publicized, monthlong span of gun violence in September and October that left four dead and 10 wounded.
Testimony in Bibb County Superior Court on Wednesday told of a looming fight, a brewing “commotion” at Williams’ North Atwood Drive apartment complex off Mercer University Drive, just northwest of Macon Mall, on Sept. 22, 2010, the night she died. The spat also involved residents of the nearby Macon Garden Apartments, just down the road across from the mall.
Prosecutors say Dasjwan Tranard Foster, who turned 18 in August, and two other teens, Brianna D. Curry, 18, and Joelissa M. Johnson, 19 -- all three of whom are charged with murder and aggravated assault -- rode over to Westminster Apartments to settle a score with some people there.
Plummer, the victim’s grandmother, said she drove away from Westminster shortly before 9 p.m. when Williams told her, “Granny, either get in your truck and go home or come in before something happens.”
Plummer, 58, and her granddaughter, whom Plummer had raised from the time she was 12, had run errands together and grocery shopped for a cookout Williams was hosting that night. Williams had been living in the apartments with her four children for 20 days.
After driving home, Plummer put on her housecoat, ate some yogurt and was lying down when her cell phone rang at 9:30 p.m.
It was a friend calling to tell her Williams had been shot.
Plummer said that when she returned to the apartments, “Terrilyn was laying on the ground. ... She was already gone. ... It was a puddle of blood. ... I couldn’t do nothing but look at the puddle of blood.”
Plummer testified through tears.
Foster, who is being tried separately from his alleged accomplices who are expected to testify against him, showed no emotion but briefly shook his head Wednesday as Williams’ grandmother cried.
Assistant District Attorney Nancy Scott Malcor called Williams’ slaying “a senseless shooting” and, in her opening statement, said Foster “robbed” Williams’ children of their mother.
Malcor said the dispute at Westminster Apartments had nothing to do with Williams. The prosecutor argued that Foster was driven there because his alleged female accomplices “needed some muscle.”
“The problem is ... Dasjwan Foster, the muscle, brought a gun,” Malcor said, adding that Foster fired into a crowd and that the crowd scattered.
Williams, who was outside, ran too, Malcor said, but upon hearing the gunfire, one of Williams’ children stepped outside their apartment and Williams, rushing back to check on the child, was shot in the neck.
In his opening statement, Foster’s attorney, Bobby Bearden, said his client “was somewhere else across town” when Williams was killed, that Foster had been at a north Macon hospital between 6 and 8:30 p.m. and then gone home to where he was living near Napier Avenue.
Foster, Bearden said, “was nowhere near where the shooting” happened. Bearden blamed the slaying on “two groups mad with each other” after an argument that spilled over from a playground at Macon Garden Apartments.
Bearden suggested one of the intended targets in the shooting was a man “who may have been dancing on top of a car.”
To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.