Jury begins deliberating in Burse trial

Jury begins deliberating in Burse trial

LIMA — The cases for a Lima man charged with shooting at a home and hitting a car containing three women, along with drug trafficking and possession, went to the jury on Friday afternoon.

Daquan Burse, 24, was charged with possession of a fentanyl-related compound, improperly discharging a firearm at a habitation, discharge of a firearm on or near a prohibited premise, trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound and two counts of trafficking in heroin. The gun charges both carry three-year firearm specifications.

Jurors deliberated for more than four hours before going home for the weekend. They will return on Monday at 8:30 a.m. to resume deliberations.

According to testimony throughout the week, Burse was accused of firing a .22 caliber gun on North Collett Street, striking a Ford Fusion with three women inside on June 28, 2019. He was accused of retaliating for a shooting at his mother’s home two days earlier, in which Ki’Arius Gaddy — who had connections to the home the car was in front of on North Collett Street.

Gaddy was cleared of suspicion.

Police suspected Burse in the June 28, 2019 shooting after one of the women in the car, Takela Florence, said she had seen Burse on the corner as the group was driving toward the driveway of a home on the street.

The car was hit by four bullets either right before the driver parked or immediately after, according to testimony. Florence was the only member of the group to see Burse, and the entire group testified that they did not see who fired the gun at them.

Lisa Brockman, a neighbor, testified that on the night of June 28, 2019, she heard a gunshot while she sat in her living room. She said she looked out her window and saw a Black male standing in the street wearing a white plaid shirt and white shorts.

Florence said Burse was wearing a red plaid or checkered shirt. She said she did not recall his pants.

Brockman told police that the man had braids and was about 5-foot-6 and skinny. According to arrest records, Burse is 5-foot 11 and 183 pounds. Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Josh Carp argued in closing arguments on Friday that height is a difficult characteristic to determine.

Burse confessed to the shooting in an interview with Lima Police Detective Steve Stechschulte after asking if he could be a confidential informant, to which the detective said he could not be trusted.

Burse testified on Thursday that he lied to the detective, telling him what he thought he “needed to hear” to release him as as confidential informant. Burse said he was addicted to opioids and was desperate to use again, willing to say anything for the opportunity.

Burse said that fentanyl use was expensive, so he began selling the drug to fund his habit. He was charged with trafficking after the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force set up three controlled drug buys with a confidential informant.

The informant gave police 4.93 grams of a substance that tested positive for fentanyl after the Feb. 3, 2020 transaction. The second was at least five grams and tested negative for controlled substances. The third was 24.45 grams that also tested negative for a controlled substance.

A person can be convicted of drug trafficking without providing drugs to another individual if they offered to sell them a controlled substance.

Burse said he continued his habit, being arrested for drug possession after police took him into custody to sober up when he was found unconscious on a Lima resident’s porch. Police discovered two bags containing white substances on his person at the station.

One bag was found to contain acetaminophen (Tylenol) pills and the other tramadol — an opioid pain medication — and fentanyl. Burse testified that he used the tramadol for pain resulting from a gunshot wound, and he had blended the pills in a blender he knew to contain fentanyl so that he could get high while relieving his pain.

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