By Michele Chadwick
MODESTO, CA – The murder trial for David Lionel Wilmore in the shooting death of Cody Lea on Nov. 21 2017, began here Monday in Stanislaus County Superior Court—there were multiple witnesses, including the victim’s girlfriend.
According to the victim’s girlfriend, JANE* (not her real name) her boyfriend, Lea, and she went to East Back Park on Nov. 21, 2017. Cody, she said, intended to be a middleman for a drug deal to sell two ounces of cocaine for $2,000.
Cody’s girlfriend testified that they drove in two separate vehicles to the park. After she parked, she watched Cody park then approach a car that pulled up on the opposite side of the street to retrieve the drugs. JANE testified that this car was Cody’s coworker and drug dealer.
JANE testified that Cody returned to his car and waited until another car arrived. He began to exit the car when the car pulled up. When Cody approached the car, he went to the passenger side front window.
At this point, JANE testified that she could no longer see Cody except for his hand that he rested on the top of the car. At this point, she reclined in her seat to wait.
JANE then testified that after approximately 30 seconds she heard tires squeal and a gunshot. She sat up and looked in her rearview mirror and “saw Cody running across the street.”
She started her car and began to pull up next to his truck “but he collapsed in the street so [she] parked right next to where he collapsed, jumped out of [her] car and started tending to him.”
She testified that the other car sped away and she did not see anyone inside.
She added that when she approached Cody, “he was struggling to breathe” and trying to speak to her. She grabbed her phone and called 911 “but it (the phone) died.” At that point, she “started screaming help and about five cars drove past. Eventually one car stopped and two young women in it let her use their phone.”
The court also heard Officer Brian Binkley testify. Binkley was the first officer to respond to the scene. He testified that upon his arrival “several people were tending to the victim” and that they were providing pressure to his neck where he was bleeding. He along with another officer took over medical care until the ambulance arrived.
Afterwards Binkley began to process the area. In his surveillance of the scene, he noted tire tracks and that “a vehicle had recently driven through the park.”
The trial will reconvene in Stanislaus Court, Dept. 7 Tuesday, Dec 14.