A 19-year-old Navy sailor was shot and killed during a fight between two groups on a residential street in Portsmouth, according to court testimony Thursday.
Darius D. Whitted was shot about 8:30 p.m. Oct. 12 near the 20 block of Woodland St., and later died at a hospital.
A woman who was present during the fight testified she saw Taiquan M. Moore fire shots. At a preliminary hearing Thursday, General District Judge Roxie Holder found prosecutors had put on sufficient evidence against Moore, 23, to send a second-degree murder charge forward to Circuit Court, a step closer to eventual trial.
Outside the courtroom after the hearing, defense attorney Julian Bouchard said his client intends to plead not guilty and that it was self-defense. Bouchard said Moore was facing “overwhelming opposition” during the fight, and his life was in danger.
Before Thursday’s hearing, prosecutors dropped a case against another man charged with being an accessory after the fact. Prosecutor Michele Burton said she did not have the necessary evidence to move forward in a case against Stephon Mosley.
At the time of the shooting, Whitted, Moore and Mosley were in the Navy. It was unclear from testimony what led to the fight.
Angel Bailey testified Thursday that she and Moore had been stationed on the same ship. That day in October, there “was to be a fight,” she said, and the location information was sent to her brother’s phone, she said.
Once there, her brother fought someone who was in Moore’s group. After that, Bailey testified, she and someone else challenged Moore to fight, but he said he didn’t want to.
Bailey said Moore began firing shots.
Under questioning by Moore’s attorney, Bouchard, Bailey acknowledged she had a knife on her that night. Bouchard also suggested someone in Bailey’s group may have had a gun and that Bailey directed the group toward Moore.
In an interview with a police detective later, Moore said he fired shots and led the detective to the gun he said he fired, which was at an apartment complex in Virginia Beach, according to testimony.
Margaret Matray, 757-222-5216, email@example.com