After court outburst, jury deliberates case against man accused of killing 13-year-old over alleged obscene gesture

Kristen Johanson
November 07, 2019 - 4:50 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The case against a Philadelphia man accused of shooting a 13-year-old boy point-blank inside a Chinese takeout restaurant is now in the jury’s hands.

At first, an outburst in the courtroom delayed closing arguments Thursday.

Related: Closing arguments to come in murder trial against Philly man accused of killing 13-year-old

As prosecutor Courtney Malloy was giving her closing argument, showing videos of Tymear Johnson on the night they say he shot and killed 13-year-old Khiseer Davis-Prather, the victim’s father let out a painful scream and rushed out of the room. Sheriffs were called and came swarming in, and the jury was sent out of the courtroom for a few minutes while the raucous was resolved. 

Eventually, everything settled, and Malloy finished outlining the case. In summation, she said Johnson was on a bus with his girlfriend and two friends, and as they passed a Chinese takeout restaurant, they saw the 13-year-old and young friends inside. Johnson thought they gestured something insulting toward him, so when he and another friend, Christopher Southerland, got off the bus, they walked back to the restaurant.

Johnson put on a mask and ultimately pulled the trigger with the fatal blow to the 13-year-old’s head, Malloy said.

Defense attorney Gina Amoriello said there is no physical evidence that puts him at the scene, and no one can identify Johnson there — except Southerland, who, Amoriello said, received a “sweetheart deal” with prosecutors, serving only three to six years for a conspiracy charge.

Amoriello motioned for a mistrial because of the outburst in court, but the judge said “absolutely not” and tried to calm jurors by saying such chaos happens often in court, but there is nothing to be alarmed about.