A six-man, six-woman jury was seated Wednesday afternoon to hear testimony and examine evidence in the case charging 18-year-old Deangelo Washington in the Nov. 15 robbery that left a popular convenience store clerk/local karaoke singer with multiple life-threatening stab wounds.
Washington is one of three defendants charged in the bloody attack on Yoshikazu Hirashawa, known as “Yoshi,” while he was working at Rockford C Mart. Hirashawa was the first witness called to testify by District Attorney Craig Ladd, who is prosecuting the case. Hirashawa told the jurors he doesn’t remember the attack, which occurred about 10 p.m. while he walked the owner’s dog outside the store. He does remember waking up in an Oklahoma City hospital with eight stab wounds he sustained as a result of the robbery.
A Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service paramedic was the second state witness to testify, telling jurors he treated Hirashawa at the scene and helped transport him to the local hospital. He also confirmed that, due to the severity of the 41-year-old store clerk’s stab wounds, a short time after arriving at the Ardmore medical facility he was airlifted to the level one trauma center at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
Robby Jefferson also took the stand Wednesday, confirming he lived in a housing addition located north of the store. He said that on the evening of Nov. 15, he and his son were outside the house about 10 p.m. when they heard noise, and he heard an unknown person say someone was going to die. Just minutes later, he saw three people running north on Rockford Road. Jefferson said while his wife dialed 911, he attempted to find the source of the noise. He discovered the victim “all bloody” in the parking lot of the store. The local man said he grabbed his first aid kit and attempted to “stop the bleeding.”
Jefferson also testified he did not know Washington or his codefendants, 21-year-old Kevontre “Tre” Jones or 16-year-old Christohper Banks.
During cross examination by Brett Morton, Washington’s defense attorney, Jefferson confirmed he did not recognize Washington as one of the three people he saw running north on Rockford Road.
But under Ladd’s redirect questions, Jefferson also said he could not positively say Washington was not one of the trio who ran from the scene. Answering Ladd’s redirect, Jefferson also clarified that Morton’s suggestion he originally told police he saw two people running was incorrect, and his written Ardmore Police Department statement clearly indicates three people.
Washington, who gave police an Amarillo, Texas, address, was the final member of the threesome apprehended in the case. He was arrested at an 11th Avenue SE residence about a week after the attack. Det. Matt Dunn, who led the investigation for the Ardmore Police Department, said Washington was taken into custody without incident as the result of a tip.
Banks, who has been detained in a juvenile center, has been certified to face the robbery charge as an adult. Washington and Jones have both been detained at the Carter County Detention Center on $75,000 bonds since their arrests.
Washington, however, now faces an additional $20,000 bond set on a case filed April 9 when evidence linked him to a July 2013 second-degree burglary case. He is set to have a preliminary conference in that case on May 27.
Trial testimony in the robbery will continue today.