Danville double-murder trial Day 4 | Man says he bought car used in crime off Craigslist

Danville double-murder trial Day 4 | Man says he bought car used in crime off Craigslist

DANVILLE — An Indianapolis man testified Monday that back in August 2015 when he was trying to start a car-parts salvage business, he paid a man $400 for a blue Chevy Malibu and picked it up at a home on the east side of the city.

Demetrius Edwards also testified that the Gmail account listed in the Craigslist ad, which advertised the car, included the name Glen Torres and the contact name Glen.

And even though he said Torres looked a little different than he did three years ago, Edwards identified him in the courtroom as the man from whom he bought the car.

Edwards' testimony came on the fourth full day of Torres' murder trial in the Aug. 2, 2015, deaths of Theodore "Teddy" Hill, 29, and Zarra Strickland, 28, of Danville, whose bodies were found early morning on Aug. 4 of that year on a vacant property at 322 Western Ave., west of town.

The trial, which began the afternoon of April 15, resumes today.

Last week, Marquis Robinson, a self-described former "low level" drug dealer, testified that on Aug. 1, 2015, his dealer, the late Joshua "J" Robinson, told him he put a hit on two men — Terlandon Givens and Mr. Hill — after Givens robbed and shot the dealer in the leg the day before.

Marquis Robinson also testified that later that day, Torres paid him $200 to drive him around in his girlfriend's blue Chevy Malibu to look for the men.

Then late that night into the next morning when he was driving Torres, Mr. Hill and Ms. Strickland to Torres' car, Torres shot Mr. Hill in the back of the head; ordered him at gunpoint to drive to a location west of Danville, where he dumped the bodies; then ordered him to drive him to his home on the east side of Indianapolis.

Furthermore, Robinson testified that after Torres and the defendant's uncle, David Mott, were unable to clean the Malibu, he turned it over to Torres, who sold it.

'I just drove off'

Under questioning by Assistant Illinois Attorney General Mary Claire Nicholson on Monday, Edwards said he saw the Malibu he bought advertised on Craigslist and exchanged a few texts with the seller about the car's condition.

Edwards identified the phone number from which the seller texted him, and it was same number a Sprint representative testified last week belonged to Torres' girlfriend, Tamara Page. Page testified last week that her boyfriend used her phone.

Edwards said he went to the seller's house on the east side of Indianapolis to pick up the car, and when he arrived, a man, whom he identified as Torres, and his girlfriend were there.

After paying the seller, he said he got a bill of sale and was told the seller was waiting to receive the title in the mail.

Edwards said he was able to drive the car, which surprised him.

"I was thinking it was just a parts car. That's what it was listed for," he said.

"It was fully working, so I just drove off."

Under cross examination by defense attorney Dan Brown, Edwards said the ad stated the car didn't move.

Then in late September, Edwards said his brother was driving the car when he was pulled over and arrested and the car was impounded.

Edwards said he called police to let them know his brother wasn't involved, and he later identified the vehicle's seller to police and turned over screen shots of text messages between the two and a video of the car that the seller sent him.

Edwards said he also tried texting and calling the seller, but only received one reply via text, saying there were some problems with the car and the police had a hold on it.

He said that was the last time he saw the car.

Also on Monday

— Illinois State Police crime scene investigator Timothy Lemasters testified he processed the scene on Western Avenue where the bodies were found and the Malibu, which by then was at a tow shop in Lafayette, Ind.

Lemasters identified the bodies as they were discovered and numerous pieces of evidence he recovered from the Western Avenue property, including two 40-caliber shell casings, and then sent to the crime lab for analysis, and pointed to where he found them on a computer-generated map based on his sketches and measurements.

Lemasters also testified that when he processed the car, he discovered two holes consistent with bullet holes — one in the front passenger door panel and the other in the back door panel just below the window.

In addition to blood stains, he said it also appeared areas of the passenger side seats and other areas showed discoloration as if they'd been vigorously cleaned or bleached.

— Tametra Moore testified that Mr. Hill — whom she called an intimate friend, and someone she drank and smoked with — came to her home on the afternoon of Aug. 2, 2015.

"He told me that J had money on his head," she said, under questioning by Assistant Illinois Attorney General Kathleen Duhig.

Moore said Mr. Hill gave her his Social Security card and told her to hang on it, which she thought was "strange."

When he left, "he gave me a hug and was holding on to me like he wouldn't see me no more," she said.

Moore said Mr. Hill called her twice just before midnight, but she didn't pick up.

When he called again at 12:07 a.m. (Aug. 2, 2015), Moore said she answered her phone and asked him whether he was going to pick her up.

"He was supposed to get me that night," she said, adding he never came, and that was the last time she heard from him.

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