Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Berrien County, IN: UPDATE: New details revealed in case of teen accused of killing boyfriend

he murder case against a 16-year-old Berrien County girl accused of shooting her 21-year-old boyfriend will go forward.

On Monday morning Judge Tom Nelson heard testimony from five witnesses in the case against Destiny Coulson. Coulson is charged with 2nd degree murder and felony possession of a firearm.

Police say Coulson was arguing with her boyfriend, David Quinn Jr, when she shot and killed him in his home on Shanghai Road the morning of January 24th.

On Monday morning Coulson appeared in court for her probable cause hearing. The prosecutor, Steve Pierangeli, called five witnesses to testify.

The first witness to take the stand was Gary Coons Jr., who is Coulson’s cousin. Coons was staying with Coulson and Quinn at the home on Shanghai when the shooting occurred. He testified that on January 23 the three bought alcohol and were playing drinking games.

Coons says later that night Coulson and Quinn started to fight and he broke up with her. Coulson told the court Quinn told her to, "pack your **** and get your stuff out of the house."

Coons says Coulson got very angry and started hitting Quinn. Coons says the fighting got worse with Coulson throwing her cell phone at Quinn and hitting him in the face. He also testified that Coulson punched Quinn, tried chocking him and bit him on both shoulders.

The prosecutor asked if Quinn ever hit or attacked Coulson and Coons testified, "No. I never saw him hit her."

Coons testified that the pair argued off and on for over three hours and at one point Quinn got out a 12 gauge shotgun. Coons said Quinn started talking about committing suicide and that he loved Coulson so much he was kill himself for her. Coons says he then grabbed the gun, took out the shotgun shell, and put the gun in the basement in a gun cabinet. Coons says someone got the gun back out and that Quinn again talked about suicide. Coons says he went outside and called his girlfriend on a cellphone and that's when he claims he heard Coulson say, "you want me to ******* kill you, DJ? You want me to ******* kill you!" Then Coons testified he heard a gunshot. Coons says he then took a few steps inside the house and saw Quinn on the floor and Coulson holding the shotgun.

Coons says he ran down the street to Quinn's parents’ house for help. Quinn's dad then called police.

Coons testified that a few days before the shooting, on January 22 both Quinn and Coulson had been drinking and got some guns out of a gun cabinet in the basement and discussed committing suicide together. Coons says he took the guns away and then the couple went to bed and acted like nothing happened in the morning.

Dr. Stephen Cohle, the chief medical examiner out of Grand Rapid also testified. He conducted the autopsy on Quinn. Cohle testified in court via phone that Quinn had a gaping shotgun wound to his right eye that caused massive damage to his brain. Cohle also told the judge that he was able to determine that Quinn was shot at close range, "within a few feet...2 to 4 feet."

Michigan State Police Trooper Scott White also took the stand. White testified that after the shooting he found Destiny Coulson at her mother's house on Rangeline Road in Berrien Springs. White testified that he heard Coulson repeatedly tell her mom that Quinn gave her the gun and told her to shoot him.

Defense Attorney Lanny Fisher did not call any witnesses. After the hearing he told WSBT that this is, "a very tragic case."

Coulson is scheduled to be in court again on March 21 when the Judge will decide whether she should face charges in adult court. Coulson is currently 16, but will be turning 17 on March 11. In the meantime, bond for Coulson remains at $500,000 cash assurity and she will continue to be in custody at the Berrien County Juvenile Detention Center.

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