Jury deliberation begins in Kareem Smalls’ murder trial

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 5:40 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2022 at 5:42 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The prosecution and defense laid out their final arguments Thursday before a jury began deliberation in a murder trial surrounding the 2020 shooting death of Kareem Smalls.

The closing arguments are a good chance to hear a summary of all the evidence and testimony shared with the jury since opening statements last Wednesday.

Dyanta Samuels faces eight charges that attempt to link him to two separate incidents the prosecution says are connected by shell casings recovered at two different scenes.

The lead prosecutor argued several people who know the defendant told police the man caught on surveillance camera firing shots toward a car in June 2020 looked like Samuels, and the car the gunman got out of also looked like Samuels.

“The car used in that shooting is found on the phone extraction of the defendant. What a coincidence that must be. You’ve got a gun used in two shootings. In the murder when the gun was used, he admits to being there. In the shooting that that gun was used in, the car that was being used by the shooter…there’s a picture of a car matching that description on his phone. What a coincidence. No, it’s not a coincidence, because the same person did both shootings with the same gun,” Assistant District Attorney Brad Thompson said.

Samuels’ attorney, however, argued the lack of physical evidence in the case is reason enough for the jury to acquit his client.

“I want you all to remember that there’s a lot of evidence in this case, but it seemed like it was more evidence directed at attacking this gentleman’s character, than it was showing that he committed this actual crime,” Samuels’ attorney, Ahmad Crews said.

The jury was sent home for the night and will return Friday morning to continue deliberation.

If Samuels is convicted, the charges that carry the heavy penalties are the malice and felony charges for the shooting death of Kareem Smalls.