MUSKOGEE, Okla. — A first-degree murder trial for Darryl Maurice Thomas started Monday afternoon after a 12-person jury was selected Monday morning
Thomas is being tried in Muskogee County District Court for the Nov. 29, 2016 death of a woman identified as his girlfriend, Fantasia Williams, 30. Thomas also is facing felony charges of possession of a firearm after a former felony conviction and unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute.
Thomas was charged Dec. 1, 2016. He allegedly shot Williams at a Muskogee residence at 719 N. Fifth St., then transported the body in a car to a residence in Tullahassee where officials said Thomas, a weapon and Williams' body were found.
Thomas has been held without bond in the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility.
Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge waived his opening remarks. Defense attorney Stephen Money told the jury in his opening remarks the case might not be as complicated as they might think.
"It's a very tragic case, a tragic, tragic case with two families involved," Money said. "One has lost a daughter, and another has a son on trial here for first-degree murder and some other charges."
Money said when the jury hears all the evidence he believes they will see Thomas and Williams were in a caring relationship.
"The evidence is going to show the relationship was a very good, a very loving relationship," Money said. "It was a good relationship with no problems. He referred to her as his queen, and that's how he saw the relationship."
Money said the evidence will show that Thomas, his brother Darrien Thomas, and Williams had been using intoxicants when an argument broke out between the brothers. Darryl Thomas grabbed a gun from under a cushion on a sofa in the living room of the home of the brothers' mother, Karen Grayson. When Darrien saw his brother with the gun, he ran out the front door.
"What Darrien is going to tell you, while he's booking it, and what the evidence is going to show is that as he's leaving he sees Fantasia grab for the gun in front of Darryl to try to stop the fight," Money said.
"As Darrien is leaving he hears the gun go off. He doesn't know what happened other than hearing the gun go off," Money said. "He doesn't see Ms. Williams get shot. He doesn't see her fall. He's leaving."
Money said what this shows was that the death was a tragic accident.
"Had Ms. Williams not jumped up, she'd be alive today and that's unfortunate," Money said. "What he (Loge) needs to show you beyond a reasonable doubt is that Darryl Thomas shot a gun intending to kill somebody."
During Loge's questioning of Darrien Thomas, his comments on what he remembered from the early morning hours of Nov. 29, 2016, differed from what Money indicated his earlier recollection of the night was. He said the brothers had gone outside the house to smoke PCP where the arguing originally started before they went back inside.
"He was tripping, saying crazy things and he told me to strip because he thought I was wearing a wire," Darrien Thomas said during his questioning.
He said he removed his shirt to prove to his brother he was not recording the conversation on any kind of listening device.
During Loge's questioning of Darrien Thomas, at one time he said he did not see Williams grab at the gun.
"Your memory is still fuzzy of what happened that night," Loge said.
He said the brother's comments also contradicted what Darrien Thomas said during a preliminary hearing in 2017.
At one time Darrien Thomas said he saw his brother leave the house in Williams' car and then said he did not actually see Darryl Thomas leave, but only saw the car leave the home but could not see who was driving.
When the car left the home, Darrien said he ran back in the house to get his shirt and cell phone. While in the home he saw Williams laying on the floor face down, not moving. He said he did not stop to check on her.
"I freaked out. I didn't call police. I wasn't in my right mind," Darrien Thomas said.
Testimony is scheduled to continue at 9 a.m. Tuesday with Darrien Thomas back on the witness stand.
According to police reports at the time, when they responded to a possible shooting at 719 N. Fifth St. about 2 a.m. Nov. 29, 2016, they found an open, unsecured door, and what they believed was a crime scene.
With help from the community, police were able to make contact with Thomas on the phone, which led to his surrender at a Tullahassee residence. Williams' body was found inside a car at that residence, reports said.
Thomas "loaded the deceased into a vehicle and transported her to a secondary address," court documents state. "The suspect, the victim, and the possible murder weapon" were located at the Tullahassee residence, officers said.