MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 13, 2012

Day of slaying recounted

Victim’s girlfriend says he died charging gunman in robbery

— On the day that began Muskogee’s bloodiest two months of 2011, the girlfriend of slain Roshun English hid in the woods, fearing for her life.

The woman, Dana Webb, testified Thursday that she ran from English’s house with her 3-year-old son and hid in nearby woods moments after English was shot and killed.

“I knew Jacorey (Billings) was going to kill me, too,” Webb testified. “So I ran and hid.”

The four men charged with first-degree felony murder in English’s death — Dawaan James Norwood, Jacorey Lamont Billings, Schiavone Anderson and Romonne Levell Johnson Jr. — were in court Thursday for their preliminary hearing. Attorneys for Billings, Anderson and Norwood asked Special District Judge Robin Adair to allow them to file written requests for dismissal. Those requests must be filed by May 10.

The requests were the result of Webb’s apparent misidentification of Johnson on the day of the shooting. Webb — who said Thursday she couldn’t be positive that Johnson was one of the four men in the house the day of the shooting — originally identified Johnson as Anderson to police. According to court documents, Johnson was the person who first identified Billings, Norwood and Anderson to police.

Billings’ attorney, Donn Baker, argued that any identification Webb made of Billings, Anderson and Norwood was based on information Johnson gave to police after being arrested.

“If (Webb) hadn’t misidentified Johnson as Anderson on the day of the shooting, (Johnson) probably would have been released by police,” Baker said. “And he wouldn’t have identified any of these other guys.”

Court documents, though, state Johnson told police he was a member of the group that robbed and eventually shot and killed English.

Johnson’s attorney, Bobby Lewis, requested the case against Johnson be dismissed Thursday, but was denied.

English was killed Nov. 11 during an attempted robbery. The men are charged with felony murder, which means all four can be found guilty of murder if prosecutors can prove English died during the commission of a felony — in this case, a robbery.

Webb testified Thursday that the men who entered the house stole their phones, some money and ransacked the house. Webb also said Billings instructed Anderson and Johnson to go outside to a shed and take English’s rims.

“Anderson came back inside and told Jacorey he was having some kind of trouble with the shed or something,” Webb testified. “Jacorey got mad and left and handed the gun to Norwood and said, ‘If she moves, shoot her.’”

At this point, Webb said, English “charged against” Norwood and was shot. Webb said Norwood then fled from the house while she grabbed her son and ran into nearby woods.

“I ran and hid in the woods because I knew Jacorey was going to come after me,” Webb said. “I looked to see if they were gone. I wanted to go help Roshun, but I was so scared.”

Webb told Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore that Billings was the “ringleader” of the group.

“They all took orders from (Billings),” Webb said. “He was bossing them around. They looked afraid of him.”

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

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