In his opening statements for the trial of Stephen Mobley, 34, District Attorney Kevin Brown told the jury disrespect led to double murder. Mobley is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder, among other charges, for a Labor Day 2016 slaying.
“Proof will show Mr. Mobley felt like he was being used, was upset, felt like he was being disrespected, didn’t like that these people were in his house,” said Mr. Brown.
He went on to describe the night leading up the September 5, 2016 slayings at 7458 Pinewood Drive, placing Mobley and the victims at the scene. He said Zirrshaddia Scott, 23, had vomited in the house after taking Xanax and smoking marijuana.
“Mr. Mobley is getting upset. Attempts to calm him down doesn’t work,” he said.
Later that night, Ms. Scott would be shot multiple times. Unlike her friends, Jasmine Hines, 22, and Rashaud Taylor, 23, Ms. Scott would survive.
Attorney Brown told the jury that after receiving a call from Ms. Scott at 6:25 a.m., Chattanooga police arrived at the scene.
“From inside the house they can hear [Ms. Scott] moaning,” he said.
After entering a bloody living room, officers found Mr. Taylor “laid out on his stomach in the middle of the living room on the den floor” and Ms. Hines “hunched over on her knees, the front of her body leaning forward between two couches.”
Mr. Brown said officers learned that Mobley had rented a Motel Six room on Lee Hwy. and posted a Facebook live video, where he talked about the crime, the people implicating him in the murder, and the motive behind the murder.
“You’re gonna see Mr. Mobley. You’re gonna hear the words come out of his mouth,” said Mr. Brown. “I ask you to hold Mr. Mobley accountable. Hold him accountable for turning disrespect into double murder.”
Defense Attorney Eliza Williams advised the jury that the State wasn’t telling them the whole truth. She quoted talk show host Dr. Phil, saying, “No matter how flat you make it, a pancake has always got two sides.”
Defense attorney Williams told the jury to pay attention to timelines, such as when Ms. Scott called 911 and when the defendant arrived at the Motel Six.
“The timeline doesn’t add up,” she said. “There’s so many unanswered questions here in this case, including who did it. There’s more to this story, no matter how flat the state tries to make it.”
Ms. Williams also said that the house where the incident took place was “unsafe for habitation” and that victim Ms. Hines had been involved in a previous case, where her father was murdered.
“She was shot in the same manner,” said Ms. Williams.
She concluded that the state had “rushed to judgement” in the Mobley case.
“The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open. So, jurors, open your mind to the proof you hear today and throughout this trial before you rush to judgement on an incomplete story. Be sure to flip over your pancake. Look at both sides,” Ms. Williams said. “Make sure you remember that there’s more to this story. The State’s not telling you everything.