Keshawn Jennings, left, and Antwaine Jones, right, sit at the defendants table.
Toledo police detectives pored over hours of surveillance video from the Moody Manor apartments on Aug. 9 to pinpoint the movements of two men on trial in the fatal shooting of a 1-year-old girl asleep in a first-floor apartment that night.
Det. Jason Lenhardt, who spent nearly the entire day on the witness stand Thursday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, answered questions as prosecutors played for the jury snippets of that video footage that purportedly shows co-defendants Keshawn Jennings and Antwaine Jones coming and going about the time of the shooting. The cameras did not capture the actual shooting, which occurred about 10:45 p.m.
Also seen on the tape is James Moore, who faces the same charges but is not on trial. He is expected to be called as a witness to fulfill his end of a prosecutor’s office plea agreement.
Mr. Jennings, 21, of 244 Wasaon St. and Mr. Jones, 19, of 3145 Cottage Ave. each are charged with aggravated murder, murder, improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation, attempted murder, and four counts of felonious assault, each with gun specifications. The charges stem from the shooting death of 1-year-old Keondra Hooks and the wounding of her 2-year-old sister, Leondra.
Defense attorneys for the two men questioned Detective Lenhardt repeatedly about his focus on the individuals best identified by their clothing that night: Mr. Jennings in a red “Just Do It” Nike T-shirt, Mr. Jones in a red and white hat, and Mr. Moore with a belt hanging down from his pants.
Asked how he narrowed his focus to these men when others were seen coming and going on cameras posted around the North Toledo housing complex, the detective said he was given a list of “identifiers” to look for.
“I was focused on a certain description, and if I did not see that description, I did not focus on it,” he said.
The soft-focus video made it difficult to see the faces of those going up and down the stairs at the apartments, although Det. Bill Noon, a longtime member of the Toledo Police gang unit, later took the stand and identified Mr. Jennings, Mr. Jones, and Mr. Moore — men he says he knows as members of the Manor Boyz gang, a group that aligns itself with the Bloods.
Prosecutors contend Mr. Jennings and Mr. Jones fired multiple rounds into the apartment where the girls slept with the mistaken notion that a rival Crips gang member was inside.
Detectives from the Toledo Police Department meet at the Moody Manor apartments, where 1-year-old Keondra Hooks was shot to death.
Detective Lenhardt, who works in TPD’s scientific investigation unit, told the jury he was called at home to come to the crime scene about 11 p.m. Aug. 9 — he remembers because of the weather conditions.
“When I left [home], it was raining cats and dogs — monsoon-like conditions,” he said.
The detective said the heavy rain compromised the outdoor crime scene to some extent, making it impossible to lift fingerprints or collect potential DNA samples. Still, he collected multiple casings and fragments believed to be from two weapons — a 9 mm and a .40 caliber handgun — that appeared to have been fired about 15 feet from the rear patio doors of the apartment where the girls were sleeping.
Before the trial resumed Thursday, Judge Frederick McDonald excused a juror and replaced her with an alternate because a witness who was on the stand Wednesday said the two previously had an altercation over an unrelated matter.
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