Trial Begins For Man Accused of Killing Frayser Child

Reported by: Dana Rebik
Last Update: 5/20 9:22 pm

MEMPHIS, TN — A Memphis man is facing first degree murder charges for a shooting at the “Ridgecrest Apartments” in Frayser in June 2006. 

Police say Montrel Gilliam fired shots at a car in the complex and stray bullets hit 11 year-old Martez Henderson and his four year-old cousin.  Henderson was killed and his cousin injured.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009, Memphis Police officers who collected evidence at the scene and eyewitnesses of the shooting took the stand.  Makeisha Holmes says she saw Gilliam with a gun on June 22, 2006. She says he fired four shots at a black Pontiac driving out of the complex.

Thomas Jones and Darrell Reed say they heard shots fired and then saw Montrel Gilliam run away inside a building nearby.  Once they walked to him they saw a gun in his hand and the witnesses say they told him “he had shot a baby”.  The witnesses say Gilliam hung his head down and said “I didn’t shoot no baby”.

Martez Henderson’s family was in court today.  The boy’s mother says the last three years have not been easy.

“I miss my baby every day.  I miss everything about him.  Birthdays, holidays are all hard when they come around.  I just hope justice is served so we get some closure,” says Brenda Henderson.

Several Memphis Police Department investigators also testified about collecting evidence at the scene. 

The defense tried to prove the point that two different weapons could have been used that night because there were three 40-caliber shell casings found and three 9-millimeter casings at the scene.

The state will call two additional witnesses to the stand Thursday, May 20, 2009, and then the defense will begin calling its witnesses.  Montrell Gilliam was 18 years-old at the time of the shooting.  He is facing a first degree murder charge and three counts of attempted first degree murder.

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