The final co-defendant in the December 3rd murder of Clender Edmond testified Thursday in the third day of the Marion County murder trial of Mantez Duncan.
Judge Kimberly Koester also heard testimony in the bench trial on the autopsy results, crime scene investigation, and phone calls between the co-defendants the morning of the murder at the Cardell Thomas home on Green Street Road east of Central City.
Darleedria Flippen said after she was driven to Thomas’ home with Duncan she helped break up fight when she walked in the door. The altercation was between Thomas, Edmond, Blake Shahan, and Krystal Scerba. Flippen said after being told to go home she did and was given the money Scerba had counted out that had been taken from Edmond during the altercation.
Flippen said she gave the money to the driver of the car, Kathryn Taylor, as she was instructed.
Taylor received a call asking for Flippen to go to her mother’s apartment upstairs from her residence where Edmond stayed to look for more money.
Flippen said her mom’s apartment was locked and wasn’t going in. She told Shahan “no” when he called around 5:30 am and asked if anyone was going to look for the money.
Flippen said she and Duncan lived together and had an on and off relationship. She also noted their apartment had been broken into several times and some items turned up missing which she blamed on a family member.
The man who was in the car that drove Edmond from Skippers Inn to the Industrial Tavern earlier in the evening, Cole Childress, said he knew of Duncan and said he may have been a Facebook friend but denied they had contact with each other. However, Childress later admitted writing Duncan three times after he was in jail. In her testimony, Flippen indicated Childress was at their home the day before the murder when they talked about finding Edmond.
A phone call recorded from the Marion County Jail was played where Mantez Duncan can be heard talking to his brother D’Shawn about putting money on his books the day after the murder. Commissary records showed Mantez came to the Marion County Jail later in the day to put $80 on his brother’s books. Clinton County Court records also showed Mantez Duncan had appeared on a misdemeanor charge in Clinton County as scheduled on December 4th.
Centralia Police Officer Cody Rose testified to taking Shahan into custody on December 12th after Edmond’s body had been found. During the process, Rose says Tez came across the screen with a phone number on one of the three cell phones that were recovered from the home.
FBI Special Agent Greg Catey testified to tracing cell phone calls from co-defendants the morning the murder allegedly occurred.
Medical examiner Dr. Shiping Bao conducted the autopsy. He said the lower part of the body had been burned, but the head, neck, and chest were attached. Bao found Edmond died from gunshot wounds to the chest by other persons. Two bullets were removed from the body during the autopsy.
Illinois State Police Crime Scene Investigator Stephanie Luker testified to taking possession of the two bullets for study at the Crime Lab.
ISP Crime Scene Investigator Bridgette Howard reviewed photos of the Thomas home and burn pile as well as the contents of a black plastic trash bag found inside Thomas’ home that contained a white t-shirt with blood stains and a sponge among other items.