Trial continues for Columbia man charged with murder

Jury deliberates in Cheatum trial

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The trial began Wednesday for a Columbia man indicted last year on second degree murder charges.

Domionte Cheatum of Columbia is charged with killing Anthony Unger of Jefferson City on June 23 of last year near Robinson's Cleaners on Conley Road during a drug deal gone bad.

Unger was found in a car in a Conley Road parking lot near the Hy-Vee store with multiple gunshot wounds.

Security was tight in the courtroom Wednesday, where 4 bailiffs were positioned. 

Opening statements were given, and the jury heard from Samuel Butler, the other man charged in Unger's murder. Butler testified for the prosecution.

Butler said he arranged a drug deal between Unger and Cheatum, and met Cheatum for the first time the day of the shooting. Butler claimed he had no idea Cheatum was going to rob Unger.

The defense questioned Butler about some of the ways he changed his story throughout his testimonies with police, such as names and the number of bullets he heard fired.

Butler said the night he spoke with police, he was on medication and couldn't remember the details clearly.

Joycelynn Brown, a friend of Unger's, also testified. Brown said she was with Unger the night he was killed. Brown told the jury Unger placed something under the hood of his car before the pair drove from Jefferson City to Columbia that night. When they got to Columbia, they met Samuel Butler and Domionte Cheatum at the Conley Hyvee parking lot. She said she had never met Cheatum before that night. 

Brown testified Cheatum got into the back of her and Unger's car, where she was only able to identify Cheatum as a black man with braids.

The defense played an audio clip where police showed her a picture of a different man, and she confirms him as the shooter.

On Thursday, the state called 4 witnesses to the stand. Dr. Carl Stacy, the medical examiner for Boone County, said Unger was shot six times; once in the face, once in each arm, and three times in the back.

Three Columbia police officers also took the stand. They talked about details of the crime scene and forensic investigation. 

Pictures from the scene show two bullet holes in the driver's side door of the car Unger was found dead in on June 23.

Detective Alan Mitchell with the city's forensic investigation team said the shooter probably shot from the back passenger side of the car where Joycelynn Brown said the shooter was that night.

One of the biggest pieces of evidence showed by the state Thursday was a palm print on the back passenger side of the car Anthony Unger was found dead in.

Nichole Rhodes, who processes fingerprints for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, worked on this case and said that palm print belongs to Cheatum.

It's the same side both Joycelynn Brown and Samuel Butler said Cheatum got in when he allegedly shot Unger.

The defense claimed Brown and Butler aren't to be trusted, as they both have changed details of the story numerous times to police and while on the stand during trial.

According to Derek Roe, the public defender, Cheatum was at a park when he was picked up by his girlfriend after the crime and wasn't covered in blood like Butler claimed.

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