A Tallapoosa County jury will hear closing arguments today before deciding if Daquon Sheeley is guilty of killing John Ferrel Adamson and shooting Gerald Haggerty in 2017.
Sheeley, 23, of Jacksons Gap is accused in the shooting incident along with Dazmon Shaw and Travorick Black. Testimony Wednesday revealed Sheeley made three different statements to law enforcement ranging from not being at the scene to leaving just before shots were fired to seeing a scuffle and firing his gun into the air.
Haggerty could not identify Sheeley from a photograph lineup about the time of the incident but said he did recognize him in court Wednesday despite not getting a clear look at him in the dark at the time of the shooting. He said he saw Sheeley’s reflection to his rear and left in the dark tinted window of his car. Haggerty said his military training taught him to pick up on things like outlines and stature.
“I’m 98% sure that’s him,” Haggerty said from the witness said. “When I’m in complete darkness, I see very well. With street lights no because of my astigmatism.”
Haggerty testified he knew Adamson as a child growing up but the pair became distant because of hard drugs.
“I have no problem with someone smoking pot,” Haggerty said. “When it comes to hard drugs, I’m a hard no.”
Haggerty said he and Adamson reconnected after Haggerty sold Adamson a car. The night of the shooting they traveled to Auburn where Adamson made the last payment on the vehicle. They also ate at Arby’s. Haggerty said Adamson drove Haggerty’s Jeep Cherokee home because he was tired and made a stop along the way. Adamson woke Haggerty and asked about another stop on the way home to Jacksons Gap. Haggerty wanted the stop to be quick. He didn’t recognize the neighborhood where they pulled in but recognized Shaw standing in the street as a distant acquaintance he’d seen at friends’ homes on a couple occasions.
“There were trailers on both sides,” Haggerty said. “(Shaw) approached the window on the driver’s side. (Adamson) got out of the car and walked to the back of the car (with Shaw). I got out of the passenger side. They were talking. (Shaw) rolled a blunt. (Adamson) lit it and passed it to (Shaw). Two people came walking by.”
Haggerty said the two people walking disappeared and took Shaw up on an offer to take a drag from the blunt.
“I hesitated for a moment,” Haggerty said. “I reached and grabbed it. Just before I could put it to my mouth, I felt a gun barrel to the back of my head.”
Haggerty said he was told to put his hands behind his head.
He was questioned how he knew it was a gun.
“It was cold hard steel,” Haggerty said. “I know the shape. I have been around guns a lot.”
It was the next few minutes that changed Haggerty’s life.
“At that moment there was a lot of chaos,” Haggerty said. “I was thinking, ‘Crap, what am I going to do?’”
Haggerty said Adamson tried to stop the incident speaking with Shaw.
“Get your homeboy,” Haggerty said Adamson said. “This ain’t going down like this. I clinched, closed my eyes. I heard gun fire. I thought it was me, but it wasn’t. I heard more and fell.”
Haggerty said he passed out from the gunshot but came to sometime later at the trailer hitch of his Jeep.
“When I came to, I didn’t see anyone,” Haggerty said. “I called out for help. I didn’t see (Adamson).”
Haggerty said his cell phone was in the console of the car.
“I tried to stand up,” Haggerty said. “I couldn’t feel my legs. I knew I had been shot but couldn’t tell where.”
He could see blood and pulled himself around the vehicle grabbing the undercarriage reaching the phone calling 911. Haggerty and Adamson were transported to Lake Martin Community Hospital just minutes away. Haggerty said he remembers bits and pieces from there and remembering speaking to first responders.
“At some point I heard two birds in route,” Haggerty said. “They canceled one. I knew John was dead.”
Haggerty was shot in the back with a .45 caliber. He was flown to Columbus Regional Hospital for treatment. The bullet fractured vertebrae, collapsed his left lung and left his liver and pancreas bleeding. The gunshot left Haggerty partially paralyzed. He was transferred to a rehab hospital.
“I learned how to walk again and other body functions,” Haggerty said. “It was like learning as a toddler. It was embarrassing.”
Haggerty said he knew nothing of the 2 pounds of marijuana found under the driver’s seat of his car as he was in the passenger seat sleeping on the way back to Dadeville. He said there was no physical fight before the guns were drawn.
Earlier this week Shaw testified cocaine was to be exchanged for the marijuana but Haggerty said he did not see it.
“(Shaw) was lying,” Haggerty said. “I will call him out to his face. I have a problem with hard drugs; had I known it I would have left.”
Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Bill Hough took two statements from Sheeley, one just after the shooting on Jah Street in October 2017.
“‘I had nothing to do with the shooting and was not there,’” Hough said, reading from Sheeley’s first statement. “‘I was with my girlfriend.’”
Sheeley made a second statement to Hough about seven months later.
“‘I called (my girlfriend) to pick me up,’” Hough said, reading Sheeley’s second statement. “‘So I walked to where (Black and Shaw) were. They were shooting dice smoking a ‘No-Show’ (synthetic marijuana) blunt.’”
The second statement by Sheeley said the trio was broke and looking for money. Sheeley said Shaw proposed a robbery during a deal for 2 pounds of “weed.” The statement goes on to say Sheeley was not around when shots were fired and left when an argument started.
“‘I walked off,’” Hough said reading the second statement. “‘I was not there when the shooting started. I heard about six shots. It was supposed to look like a robbery.’”
Sheeley’s third statement was to then Dadeville assistant police chief Chris Martin.
“He told me that (Black) had a Facebook profile and changed his name to ‘Cowboy,’” Martin said. “He said there was a scuffle between Shaw and John Adamson. He said he had a High Point pistol and fire three shots into the air. He said the murder weapon was a Ruger 9.”
Evidence process by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences suggests at least two different guns were involved. A .45 caliber projectile was removed from Haggerty and the wound to Adamson suggested something smaller. Martin described how the projectile entered Adamson’s body while showing jurors autopsy photographs. Adamson’s family wept in the gallery.
With a high likelihood of at least two weapons, Martin admitted Sheeley most likely was not responsible for both injuries.
“I don’t think he could have shot both of them,” Martin said.
Alabama law allows a defendant to be charged with a shooting while in the commission of another crime even though they might not be the shooter.
After the state rested, Sheeley’s attorneys called Black – to the stand – their only witness. When asked about what he saw and knew of the night of the shooting, Black took advantage of his Fifth Amendment right to protect himself against self-incrimination.
The jury will reconvene this morning to hear closing arguments before deliberating the guilt or innocence of Sheeley.