, Muskogee, OK

November 5, 2012

Witnesses testify of fatal shooting

Decision in hearing delayed until Nov. 26

By Dylan Goforth
Phoenix Staff Writer

— On the night Skyler Brewer was shot and killed, his friend Robert Carmens held his hands on Brewer’s wounds.

“I was trying to keep him conscious,” Carmens testified Monday. “I was trying to keep him alive.”

Carmens testified during the preliminary hearing for John Eldridge Cone, 18, charged with first-degree murder for the Sept. 6 shooting death of Brewer, 26, and assault and battery with a deadly weapon for injuries Carmens received.

Attorneys called all their witnesses Monday, but the final decision on if Cone will be bound over for trial will have to wait until 9 a.m. Nov. 26. Monday’s hearing was continued until that date when the medical examiner’s report will be presented.

Carmens testified to riding with Brewer, Letrece Smith, Smith’s daughter and Brewer’s 2-week-old baby girl to a house “near Sadler Elementary” the night Brewer was killed.

Smith said Brewer was inside the house for about five minutes, then returned to the car and the group drove to Smith’s home at 2009 W. Broadway.

Carmens said he and Brewer stood outside the house, smoking cigarettes dipped in PCP, when someone in a parking lot across the street to the east started yelling at Brewer.

Smith said she told Brewer someone was yelling for him, and Brewer whistled the man to come over.

“I could see the person over in the car wash parking lot, yelling for Skyler and hopping around,” Smith said.

Smith said the man then ran across the street, jumped in a dark colored sport utility vehicle and drove with his lights off, stopping in front of her house. Corey Grayson, who is married to Cone’s mother, testified he last saw Cone that afternoon, leaving the house in a blue SUV with a white girl.

Smith and Carmens identified Cone as that man, and said Cone was screaming at Brewer, asking for money.

“Skyler told him, ‘I didn’t take any money, but here’s $20,’” Carmens said.

Smith said her and Cone’s mother are cousins, so she grabbed Cone by the shoulders and said, “Calm down, kinfolk.”

“He started to calm down,” Smith said. “Skyler handed him the money and he said ‘(expletive) this (expletive), stepped back and opened fire.”

Brewer was shot multiple times in the upper torso and died at Muskogee Regional Medical Center about an hour after the shooting. Carmens was grazed by a bullet on his left side.

Cone was arrested at a house near 28th and Findlay streets the day after the shooting.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or

What’s next  

John Eldridge Cone will return to court at 9 a.m. Nov. 26 to continue his preliminary hearing.

Cone, 18, is charged with first-degree murder and assault and battery with a deadly weapon for the shooting death of Skyler Brewer and injury of Robert Carmens.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s report will be presented Nov. 26, and the court will decide whether to bind Cone over for trial.