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Jury deliberating in the murder trial of Jahaun Whirley

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The murder trial against Jahaun Whirley was placed in the hands of the jury Friday afternoon.

Whirley, who was 16-years-old at the time, is accused of robbing and shooting Justin Kammerich and Alex Meyers on December 12, 2018.

Whirley is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and first-degree attempted robbery and armed criminal action.

Closing arguments lasted an hour and half with both the state and defense mentioning items police found in a Lacoste bag that belonged to Whirley.

That bag contained Whirley's driver's license, debit card, hoodie, ski mask and a gun that has the same ammo that matches the ammo found at the scene.

Whirley's DNA was found on all of those items including the gun. He admitted to the items being his besides the gun.

Alex Meyers who was shot three times survived the shooting and testified that the shooter had on a black ski mask and a grey or black hoodie.

Throughout the trial, the defense argued that the murder weapon doesn't belong to Whirley and his DNA is only on the items in the bag because of how DNA transfers onto things.

The defense says, at the time Whirley lived in a home with a lot of people and that can cause cross-contamination of DNA to occur.

Walter Stokely, Whirley's defense attorney says, "There's at least three people's DNA on the ski mask which is consistent with it being in the dirty laundry and there's at least three people's DNA on the hooded sweatshirt. So keep in mind this a busy house with people coming and going and sharing clothes and sharing items."

The State says that Whirley's DNA is on the murder weapon because Whirley is the shooter.

The State claims 13 shots were fired at the scene and that's how many bullets are missing from the gun.

Assisting Prosecuting Attorney Scott Fox says, "The black ski mask which admits to actually being his found near the murder weapon, grey hoodie found near the murder weapon he admits that they are his, they have GSR (gun shot residue) on them both of those things do. The defendant lives less than a block away from the murder that he committed and he returned to the scene of the crime that night and the next day."

During questioning, police asked Whirley if he would have gun residue on his hands. He told them he might because a week before he shot his brother's AR-15 with him at a shooting range.

Also during questioning, Whirley told police he had on a grey Nike hoodie and black sweatpants the night he heard the shots and went outside to see what was going on.

Whirley testified on Friday that he had on a white polo jacket.

During Meyers testimony, he told the jury that the shooter was wearing a black, grey or silver hoodie.

The jury deliberated till 8 p.m. when the judge sent them home and will come back on Monday.

Erika McGuire

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