Witnesses testify about shooting


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A friend of a local resident who was killed in a 2012 shooting testified he saw Brandon Brown “pull out a gun and shoot” Donelle Lindsey in court on Nov. 15.

Brown has pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting. According to a police report, Brown allegedly shot 30-year-old Lindsey around 11:30 p.m. on June 21, 2012, near Mormon Trek and Melrose Boulevard after an argument between the two men.

Johnson County assistant prosecutor Dana Christiansen will present two more witnesses at 9a.m. today in the Johnson County Courthouse. If convicted, Brown will face mandatory life in prison.

Witness DiMarco Harris testified he spent June 21, 2012, with his best friend Lindsey drinking, playing video games, and spending time with Harris’ children. Harris and Lindsey put the kids to bed and made their way toward the Petsel Place Apartment Complex and within a half hour Brown and Lindsey began to argue — allegedly Brown pulled out a gun minutes later and shot Lindsey four times.  

With tears forming in Harris’ eyes, he began to choke up at the stand as Linn County public defender Brian Sissel questioned him sharply about why he did not call 911 immediately after the incident.

“Everyone was mad at me and blaming me, but I didn’t even do anything,” said Harris in response to why he failed to call the police.

Following the question, a female from the audience stood up and shouted “You left him for dead.”

After she was escorted out and not allowed back in, tension remained in the court room as Harris continued to describe the rest of the night of the slaying.

After the interruption, Harris was questioned for almost three hours between Christainsen and Brian Sissel and spoke in greater detail about the shooting.

“This man right here had a gun and shot Donelle,” said Harris as he pointed to Brown. “I couldn’t believe it; it didn’t look real. He was breathing real hard, and he was trying to say something, but he couldn’t.”

A number of other witnesses took the stand on Nov. 15, including Johnny Platt, a reserve police officer in University Heights, who was the first officer to arrive at the scene of Lindsey’s death.

Iowa City police investigator Robert Hartman and 21-year-old Nicole Blosser also testified. Blosser testified she drove Brown to Chicago shortly after Lindsey was killed.  

Shortly after Blosser heard the gunshots, Brown and her boyfriend, Ivan Hardemon, arrived at her apartment. Blosser said the three of them drove to Chicago and dropped Brown off at an apartment building and immediately returned to Iowa City.

During the car ride during the early hours of June 22, 2012, Blosser said she heard Brown say he had shot somebody. After the Blosser and Hardemon dropped Brown off, Hardemon told her, “I can’t help you if you talk.”

After returning to Iowa City, Blosser said she and Hardemon took a shoebox that was holding two black handguns to a friend’s apartment. Blosser said she acted in accordance with Brown and her boyfriend because she was scared and nervous if she didn’t do what she was told.

Hardemon was killed in August 2012 when he was involved in an undercover drug purchase at Breckenridge Trailer Court.

After three different interviews with police, Blosser testified she had not told the full truth because she was afraid. Sissel questioned why she lied numerous times, and Blosser said she was telling the truth Nov. 15.

Hartman presented numerous photos of evidence detailing an estimated 58-foot trail of blood stains on the concrete and grass near where Lindsey’s body was found. Hartman indicated officers did not find bullet casings at the scene.

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