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'I feel burdened by the actions of another': Key witness testifies against friend accused of killing retired St. Louis police captain

David Dorn, 77, was shot and killed June 2, 2020 while trying to protect a friend's pawn shop from looters.

ST. LOUIS — Mark Jackson said Stephan Cannon is the man police identified in surveillance footage as the triggerman who killed retired police Capt. David Dorn.

Jackson said Cannon was the one wearing a black Adidas track suit and white Nike baseball hat in the images, which prosecutors argue show Cannon shoot Dorn.

Jackson said Cannon carried a gun inside a black Nike satchel police found inside his apartment.

Jackson said he drove Cannon to the pawn shop Dorn was trying to protect from looters when he was killed.

And Jackson said he talked to Cannon the next day and heard him say “he didn’t want to do that to him,” which he took as a confession to murder.

All were points prosecutors used to build up Jackson’s testimony Tuesday during the second day of Cannon’s murder trial. 

Cannon has been charged with killing the 77-year-old during a night of unrest and rioting June 2, 2020, that followed the death of George Floyd.

Four police officers were also shot at a different location that night but survived their injuries.

But defense attorneys pushed back, tearing into Jackson's testimony and showing jurors how Jackson is a man with everything to gain by incriminating Cannon.

Instead of a murder charge for his role in the crime, Jackson said he is expecting to get a two-year sentence for burglary in exchange for his cooperation, according to Senior Public Defender Brian Horneyer.

He’s also a man who told police at least four different versions of the events that happened that night, Horneyer said.

“What is your expectation?” Horneyer asked.

“My only expectation is to clear my name,” Jackson said.

Horneyer then noted how Jackson answered that question differently under oath just days ago, saying he expected to get the two-year sentence.

Chief Trial Assistant Marvin Teer walked Jackson through his reasons for changing his story so many times.

“Did you try to protect Cannon?” Teer asked.

“Yes,” Jackson said.

“Why?” Teer asked.

“Because that's my friend and I didn't want to see him go down,” he said.  

Teer also asked Jackson how he is feeling about the situation now.

“I feel burdened by the actions of another,” Jackson said.

Teer later continued: “You gave police four different stories, so what's different now?”

“I watched everything that was going on, seeing the pain the family is going through,” he said. “I feel like it's time for everything to come to light.”

Jackson told jurors he drove the Pontiac G6 that was seen on surveillance cameras driving away from Lee’s Pawn Shop after the shooting. He said he was “close friends” with Stephan Cannon and has known him for about seven years. He said he called him on the night of the riots because he wanted “more hands” with him to join in the looting.

He described a looting spree that included at least three other businesses before he headed to the pawn shop.

Jackson was among the witnesses who struggled to point to Cannon in court after prosecutors asked him to identify Cannon.

He paused, then looked briefly at him, and pointed.

Elicia Beavers also struggled to point him out and tried to avoid eye contact. She described Cannon as wearing a black suit and burgundy tie and said he was living with her and her boyfriend at their apartment at the time of the murder. She also identified Cannon in still images of surveillance videos from the pawn shop with her initials and wrote his nickname, “Man Man” next to the photo.

Horneyer also ripped into her testimony, noting how she had already seen Cannon get arrested and was scared following the police search of her home when she identified him.

Of the eight witnesses who testified Tuesday, St. Louis Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Graham’s words resonated the most with two of Dorn’s children, Lisa and Debra Dorn. He described how three shots went through their father’s body, striking him in the leg, chest and hand.

He said Dorn did not die instantly.

“It’s really been an emotional roller coaster,” said Lisa Dorn, standing next to her sister, Debra Dorn. “And today was really tough especially listening to the Medical Examiner and as well as one of the key witnesses for the prosecution.

"You learn the actual gory details of that and so we sat through it, we wanted to know, it was tough but it’s important for us to be able to add some closure and some peace to this, so as tough as it, was I wanted to hear it.”

Debra Dorn said the Dorn family believes prosecutors are "fighting hard" for their family and believe justice will prevail. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner sat in front of the family during Tuesday's proceedings.

The state rested its case just before 5 p.m. In all, jurors heard from seven witnesses Monday and eight on Tuesday.

The defense is expected to begin its case Wednesday morning.

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