Alleged killer says he was another victim, police officers testify
The man charged for killing Carolyn Barr outside of her nephew’s house on Brandon Avenue on October 13, 2015, testified Wednesday that he’s not only innocent of the woman’s death, but that he’s another victim.
Although he said he wasn’t involved in a robbery plot, Knowledge Dante Frierson doesn’t deny that he was in the area that night. He said he was shot during an exchange of gunfire. But the prevailing question first proposed by Robert Hoffa, Frierson’s attorney, is whether there are others involved than those the investigation has shown.
Frierson took the stand after a full morning of testimony focused on what he told police after being arrested in May of 2016.
Although Frierson never provided an overt admission to being there to rob 421 Brandon Ave., his interviews with police were used against him in court Wednesday.
At one point throughout the interview, Frierson answered why he was there that night. “I was doing something I shouldn’t have,” he said.
Halfway through the police interview, Frierson admitted to going up to the house twice and that it was a robbery “gone bad.”
While on the stand Wednesday, Frierson still agreed that it was a botched robbery, but with a twist.
“I thought I was the one being robbed,” he said.
Frierson said he was homeless at the time and dating a woman named “Angie.” The woman’s child was sick and he was on his way to the hospital.
While being questioned by police last May, Frierson said he was coming back from the pharmacy to drop off a prescription. He maintained that on Wednesday.
“I walked up Third Street, up Hepburn and then turned on Brandon (Avenue),” he said.
He turned on Brandon Avenue to see if he could find a place to stay that night, he said.
“My friend Craig lived there with his dad,” Frierson said.
But the last time he said he saw Craig was in 2012. He wasn’t sure if he still lived at 421 Brandon Ave.
When he walked to the door the first time, no one answered. “I thought he (Craig) was playing a joke on me or something,” Frierson said.
When he came up a second time, Freeman came out and asked what he was doing there.
“I left,” Frierson said. “When I was walking, he turns me around and grabs me like I was gonna do somethin,’ “ Frierson said.
The two started fighting when he heard a “pow.”
That first shot while the two fought hasn’t been disputed at trial. But Freeman and other witnesses have said that it came from Frierson’s gun and that it was the bullet that killed Barr. Frierson said it was Freeman’s gun and that it hit him.
“I was holdin’ my leg … it was bleeding,” Frierson said. “Then I grabbed it (the gun) with both hands and pushed him (Freeman) off of me.”
Freeman broke away, still holding the gun, and started firing at him while walking the opposite way, Frierson said.
Frierson said he was “barely” able to run down Brandon Avenue and into the alley close to where police found him calling for help.
While running there, he said two people close to the alley started firing toward him.
Two crime scene processing officers, Patrolman Joseph Ananea and retired Lt. Arnold Duck Jr. testified Tuesday to what they observed in the alley after arriving on the scene.
Out of the 29 evidential items marked, many of them were blood splotches tracing the path to where Frierson was found. Police also found a .357 Ruger Security 6 near a fence in the alley before the path turns into a backyard, Ananea said Tuesday.
Blood and DNA samples were taken from the various blood spots on the ground and from the gun that had “a large amount of blood on it,” Duck said.
All six chambers in the cylinder of the revolver had expended shell casings in them. There were no casings found on the scene.
The swabs of blood and DNA were sent to the state police DNA lab.
Each sample was first tested to create a profile, Veronica Miller, a DNA analyst with the lab, said Tuesday. The lab then was given Frierson’s sample as a reference.
There was a match between Frierson’s sample and those found on the rest of the gun and with the blood from the alley, Miller said.
After police found Frierson in the narrow walkway between two houses near the alley, they swabbed his hands to test for gunshot residue, according to testimony Monday. Tuesday, Stephanie Hrico testified about the results of those tests.
There are three particles considered to be uniquely prevalent when a gun is fired — lead, antimony and barium, Hrico said.
A combination of all three together is a good indicator that the person fired a gun. Two- and one-part combinations could also be indicators. Both Two- and one-part combinations of those three particles were found in the samples taken from Frierson’s right and left hands.
“With the presence of any combination of these particles, we could tell that the person either discharged a firearm, was in the area where a firearm was discharged or touched something with GSR on it,” Hrico said. “Particles can also be removed through environmental conditions and biological materials such as blood or sweat.”
The trial continues today with closing statements before the jury is sent to deliberate.