Yevion Brown just wanted to spend a little time with her boyfriend, Markeise Dunn, before her 11 a.m. shift at McDonald’s.
So on Nov. 26, 2016, Brown’s sister dropped her off at Markeise’s home near North 20th and Pratt Streets.
Brown made herself some eggs, and she and Markeise shared a marijuana joint.
Theirs was a different bond. At the time, she was 22. He was just 16. They clicked. She was quiet; he was not.
“He was a very outgoing, loving, hardworking person,” Brown testified this week. “And he also made me laugh.”
That Saturday morning, Markeise grabbed a $5 bill and said they could stop at a convenience store just down the street — so he could get her change for the fare for the bus she was going to catch at 24th and Pratt Streets.
They walked west on Pratt Street, temperature about 50, a mild Saturday after Thanksgiving.
What happened next was surreal — like something out of a John Singleton movie. Only this was real, and the trailer for this crime played out in a fourth-floor Douglas County courtroom this week, as 24-year-old Otis Walker stood trial on a charge of first-degree murder.
Jurors began deliberating the case Friday, and are expected to resume Monday.
Sign up for World-Herald news alerts
Be the first to know when news happens. Get the latest breaking headlines sent straight to your inbox.
Testifying quietly, breaking down once, Brown told jurors that the walk was mindless and quiet — so she and Markeise didn’t notice a burgundy car with dark-tinted windows creeping behind them. The car moved so slowly that it stunned Brown when the passenger side window rolled down.
“What’s up,” the passenger said.
“What’s up,” Brown said back.
“What’s up,” Markeise said.
The passenger kept repeating “What’s up,” followed by “Where you from?”
Then, out of nowhere: Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.
Brown looked on, stunned. For a few seconds, Markeise just stood there. Brown thought maybe the passenger had missed, had just fired warning shots.
Brown was even more stunned at who she says the shooter was. She had recognized him the instant the dark-tinted window slid down, revealing his face.
It was Otis, a boy who, about eight years earlier, was in seventh grade at McMillan Magnet Center when she was an eighth-grader there.
“I was gonna ask if he remembered me,” Brown testified. “But I’ve been taught you have to have respect for the man you’re with. I was with my boyfriend.”
That Saturday morning, Steve Davis, 54, was with a drum line group called the Condors. They were practicing at the Salvation Army gym near 24th and Pratt Streets.
Davis was hauling a drum set out of the building when he heard a different sort of bang.
Six shots pierced the morning air. Davis turned and saw a person down. He ran to him, the soles of his shoes facing Davis.
He approached the victim and couldn’t believe his eyes. It was Markeise — a young man Davis had drilled with as a drummer just a few months before.
Markeise was Davis’ lead snare drummer for the Omaha Marching Tigerettes.
“He was the coldest snare player in north Omaha,” Davis said. “I was proud to have him on my squad.”
Davis knew Markeise as an outgoing, respectful young man. Markeise always called Davis “Mr. Steve.”
Davis had drilled with Markeise for about three months in 2016. More than a dozen drummers, mostly teenagers, would gather on the tennis courts across from the house where Markeise and his mother lived — near King Elementary School.
But then Davis fell on hard times — and he couldn’t run his drum line anymore.
The Omaha Housing Authority employee would occasionally see Markeise around. Once, Davis spotted Markeise with three other teens downtown in the middle of a school day.
“He said, ‘Oh, Mr. Steve, we’re just hanging out,’ ” Davis recalled. “I said, ‘No, Markeise, you know you’re supposed to be in school.’ ”
Davis knew Markeise had smarts. He had a gift of gab. And he knew computers, so handy he could assemble a computer tower. The other side: Brown acknowledged that she and Markeise sometimes smoked weed six times a day. And Markeise’s chronic absences had landed him at Parrish, an alternative school in the Omaha Public Schools.
Brown’s identification isn’t the only evidence against Walker, prosecutors Brenda Beadle and Ann Miller told jurors.
Police located Walker in Texas a few weeks after the shooting. Investigators searched his phone and found that Walker had deleted his Facebook page a half-hour after the shooting. He also searched five times for any news reports on the homicide.
Later, he typed the following Google searches into his phone: “good lawyers to find in Omaha” and “do you have to get picked out of a lineup to be found guilty?”
Authorities are still searching for a motive.
While some have speculated on a gang rivalry, detectives have said they found no connection between Markeise and Walker.
Walker’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Cindy Tate, suggested that Brown was impaired by her marijuana use and that authorities don’t know whether the passenger or driver opened fire.
Prosecutors told jurors that the evidence overwhelmingly points to Walker.
“This is a very simple, straightforward case,” Beadle told jurors. “And a very senseless one.”
1 of 45
A former convict was charged with using a drone to attempt to drop marijuana into the Lincoln Correctional Center yard. Read more
A man walking home from work along the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge used a pocket knife to fight off two attackers, sending both to the hospital. Read more
An Omahan was scammed out of $4,800 after trying to buy College World Series tickets. Read more
The Montana man known as the “AK-47 Bandit” who robbed several banks in at least five states, including Nebraska, was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison. Read more
A mall security guard was arrested on suspicion of making terroristic threats after threatening to shoot at suspected shoplifters fleeing in a vehicle. Read more
Travis Fieldgrove, who had sex with a woman who was both his wife and his daughter, was sentenced to two years in prison. Read more
A 28-year-old Omaha man was accused of spanking a 2-year-old girl so hard that she suffered multiple internal injuries. Read more
A man walking in Lincoln was struck in the genitals by a bullet after he dropped a .22-caliber handgun and it discharged. Read more
An 18-year-old man who police say was driving a stolen car was fatally shot by a friend of the car’s owner in Council Bluffs. Read more
A Tecumseh, Nebraska, man shot two former co-workers after they forced their way into his home and tried to fight with him, according to the State Patrol. Read more
Nebraska State Patrol troopers arrested a California man who is accused of driving under the influence of drugs while driving 4 mph and, later, 147 mph on Interstate 80. Read more
A North Carolina man was arrested by Lincoln police after they say he attempted to kidnap a 14-year-old girl and take her to live with him in Wisconsin. Read more
A Shelton woman was driving north on U.S. Highway 281 when a man who’d been kicked out of another vehicle forced his way into her van. The woman, frightened by the man, took her infant and left the vehicle. But the suspect didn’t get far because the key fob remained with the woman. Read more
A staff member at the Tecumseh State Prison was attacked when an inmate’s cell door was mistakenly opened. Read more
More than 200 dead cattle and another 200-plus in questionable condition were found on property in Fillmore County, Nebraska, investigators said. Read more
The SUV of an Omaha woman was repeatedly rammed from behind in a Taco Bell drive-thru lane by a man who later got into the woman’s vehicle and drove it into the concrete base around a light pole. Read more
A 17-year-old boy was taken into custody after he took an unloaded 9 mm handgun to school, La Vista police said. Read more
A woman was injured after being put in the trunk of a car that fled police and crashed, police said. The woman had been reported abducted. Read more
A trip to Arby’s for lunch turned into a dangerous road-rage incident in Elkhorn when a driver got out of his car with a handgun and shot the tire on another man’s pickup truck. Read more
A 33-year-old man accused of leading Omaha police officers on a high-speed chase across the city had tried to run over officers, a prosecutor said, before the chase ended at The World-Herald building. Read more
A teenager was sentenced after luring a man for sex and fatally wounding him during a robbery. Read more
DNA helped lead police to man charged in a Guaca Maya slaying. Read more
A former U.S. Air Force counterintelligence specialist who defected to Iran has been charged with revealing classified information to the government in Tehran, including the code name and secret mission of a Pentagon program, prosecutors said. Read more
A masked man shot a clerk inside the Bucky’s convenience store at 30th and Dodge Streets about 3 a.m. She was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center with an injury that wasn’t considered life-threatening. Read more
A 25-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound after he went to confront a 50-year-old man at his home. Read more
An Iowa woman has been charged with five felonies after authorities alleged that she stole $3,535 worth of pull-tab lottery tickets while she worked at a convenience store. Read more
A 33-year-old man accused of cutting his girlfriend with a sword was covered in blood when police arrived at a house in Lincoln. Read more
A parolee is back in jail after punching a man who was a Tinder date for his girlfriend’s friend, according to a court affidavit. Read more
A grenade found in a dumpster in southeast Nebraska was disposed of by Nebraska State Patrol troopers. Read more
A Lincoln man upset that his wife and a friend were talking too loudly as he was trying to get to sleep walked downstairs and pointed a gun at his wife, police said. Read more
DNA evidence led police to issue an arrest warrant in an unsolved 2013 slaying of a Ralston woman. Read more
An Omaha man was arrested after an investigation indicated he had allowed two adult pit bulls to starve to death. Read more
A standoff with Omaha police ended after a man fell off an SUV, where he had been standing and shouting. Read more
Law officers from multiple agencies converged in rural Nebraska on Monday after a man exchanged gunfire twice with officers and escaped from a traffic stop by stealing a sheriff’s vehicle. Read more
An Iowa woman who went to prison for sex with 17-year-old ward of the state said she feels shame and remorse. Read more
The former pharmacy director for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center accused of embezzling more than $4.6 million from the hospital pleaded guilty to wire fraud Monday in U.S. District Court. Read more
A 22-year-old man reportedly drove drunk to the parking lot of the Lancaster County Jail, where his vehicle was spotted weaving and driving over an island. His blood-alcohol content was .172, Lincoln police said. Read more
An injured, naked woman was found outdoors in midtown Omaha on Monday and taken to the Nebraska Medical Center, said Officer Phil Anson, a police spokesman. Read more
A woman has filed a police report accusing Steve LeClair, an Omaha firefighter and the president of the firefighters union, of assaulting her in November. Read more
A Nebraska woman who has been charged with incest told a police officer that she wanted to have sex with her father because of a competition with her half sister to see who could do it first. Read more
Omahan 'rings' in the new year in prison for theft of $629,000 wedding ring. Read more
A club basketball coach who promised weekends of tournaments, personalized jerseys and cookie dough for fundraising took parents’ money and didn’t deliver, authorities say. Read more
Omaha ended 2018 on a high note not seen for decades — no one was criminally slain in Omaha in the final three months of the year. Read more