The second trial for a Merrillville man charged with murder in the 2016 shooting death of a man outside a Fort Wayne bar began much the same as the first.
Prosecutors again said Quentin Stewart, 29, shot 22-year-old Codi McCann to death Dec. 6, 2016, as McCann sat in the passenger seat of a car outside State Bar and Grill on East State Boulevard about 10 p.m. McCann had a pound of marijuana with him, they said, and was waiting for a friend – Zachary Bailey – who had gone inside the business.
“This is a trial about accountability,” Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Tom Chaille told jurors in opening statements. “(Stewart) approached the red Grand Am and fired two shots that we know off.”
One shot entered the right side of McCann's chest and pierced his heart.
Defense attorney Aaron Stoll again countered, saying McCann first drew a gun that night. Stewart tried to grab it, and shots were fired, he said.
The order in which the shots came is not clear, Stoll said. Investigators never recovered the drugs, which Bailey told police were in an Indianapolis Colts bag.
“They never found the Colts bag,” Stoll said. “They never found marijuana. They never found drugs of any kind.”
Stewart was arrested last year after tests revealed his DNA on the gun that investigators said was used in the shooting. He is charged with murder and faces a sentencing enhancement for using a gun to commit the crime.
A judge could sentence him to up to 85 years in prison if he is convicted.
That's not what happened in September, when jurors deliberated more than 10 hours but couldn't reach a verdict in Stewart's first trial. Prosecutors then said McCann's slaying came during a “drug rip” – a botched robbery over drugs.
Bailey, identified as “Witness 1” in a probable cause affidavit, reportedly told police he asked McCann to accompany him to the bar because McCann had a gun and Bailey was uneasy about meeting Dorrion Jefferson, also known as “City,” at the bar.
Chaille said Stewart and Jefferson conspired to rob Bailey and McCann.
Stoll said Bailey changed his story last year, telling investigators he and McCann were at the bar to sell marijuana. Bailey told police after the shooting they were there to buy the drug, according to court documents.
Jefferson and Bailey have not been charged in the shooting.
Testimony will continue today in Allen Superior Court, and the trial is scheduled to end Thursday.