A former Star Spencer football player fired a single shot in a car-to-car shooting that claimed the life of a 17-year-old boy, a passenger in the victim's car testified Tuesday.
Prosecutors told a jury hearing the case against Darrin Paul Burton Jr. that a prior dispute between rival gang members fueled a confrontation at a traffic signal that led to Khaelin Irving's death on June 14, 2011.
Burton, 21, of Midwest City, is charged with first-degree murder and three counts of intentionally shooting a firearm from a vehicle.
Police said Irving was riding in a car with three other people, including his brother, when a gold car began following them near NE 23 and Douglas Boulevard.
Burton's attorney, in his opening statement, said his client, a passenger in the gold car, acted in self-defense after a passenger in the other car pointed a gun.
“He ducked and fired one shot to save his own life,” defense attorney Malcolm Savage said of Burton.
One of the passengers in the victim's car, though, testified no one riding in a maroon Toyota Camry had a gun.
Diante Windham didn't deny his gang affiliation or his dislike for the driver of the gold car, co-defendant Davian Ramone Blair.
He told a jury Tuesday he stuck his head out the window and started “throwing up gang signs” in the direction of Blair, a rival gang member he said he fought with several months earlier.
“I was probably saying I was going to beat (Davian),” Windham said.
Windham said passengers in both cars exchanged words, including the victim and Burton, who Windham said he didn't know.
When the car Irving was in turned north onto Shadywood Drive from NE 10, the gold car pulled up next to it and the passenger fired a shot, striking Irving in the head, Windham testified.
The witness identified Burton as the shooter, saying “he stuck his arm out the window.”
Irving was taken to Midwest Regional Hospital then to OU Medical Center, where he died.
Windham testified that he lied to police when they asked him if he knew Blair, who has pleaded guilty in the case and is expected to testify against Burton.
The witness said he lied because “I wanted to take matters into my own hands.”