YOUNGSTOWN Murder defendant testifies
The West Warren Avenue man doesn't dispute that he killed Dan Wilkerson.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Shawn Greene was so afraid of Daniel Wilkerson that he went out and bought a gun to shoot him.
But he never called the police for help, even though Wilkerson made threatening telephone calls to him every day for a month.
That was part of Greene's testimony Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, where the 30-year-old West Warren Avenue man is on trial for murder. He admitted shooting Wilkerson, 24, but said it was in self-defense.
In April 1999, Greene lived at a West Ravenwood Avenue house with Shawndea Bell, who was Wilkerson's former girlfriend and the mother of Wilkerson's six children.
During his testimony, Greene said Wilkerson issued daily threats of robbery and death.
When defense attorney James Gentile asked whether Greene ever did anything to protect himself from Wilkerson, Greene said, "Yes sir, I shot him."
Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Franken said it made no sense for Wilkerson to rob Greene because Greene did not have a job and apparently had nothing to take.
Greene said Wilkerson walked into the West Ravenwood Avenue house on April 25, 1999, unexpectedly and without knocking. Greene immediately got up from the table where he was eating beef stew for dinner, went into a bedroom and got a .22-caliber pistol he kept hidden under a mattress.
He went back to the kitchen, holding the gun in front of him where Wilkerson could see it. That's when an argument broke out between the two, though Greene could not recall what was said.
"[Wilkerson] was sayin' some cuss words. That's all I can remember," he said.
Greene said Wilkerson reached into his shirt as if going for a gun. That's when he pulled the trigger of his own gun, firing one shot into Wilkerson's abdomen.
Wilkerson staggered outside and collapsed. He died the next day.
"I was fearful for my life," Greene said. "I thought he was gonna do what he said he was gonna do."
Disputes others' testimony
Greene said Bell lied when she testified Wednesday that four of her six children were either on the front porch or in the living room when Wilkerson arrived that day. He said all six of the children were playing upstairs. He said Wilkerson's mother also lied when she said Wilkerson had called Bell earlier that day to make arrangements for the children to spend April 26 -- Wilkerson's birthday -- with him.
Greene was to continue testifying today in the courtroom of Judge Maureen A. Cronin. The 10-woman, two-man jury is expected to begin deliberating later this afternoon.