TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It was a packed courtroom at the Rensselaer County Courthouse on Thursday for the opening of the trial of the man accused of killing Ayshawn Davis, then 11, of Troy on Sept. 13, 2020. Prosecutors called him the innocent victim of a drive-by shooting involving Jahquay Brown, 22, of Cohoes, who was charged with second-degree murder.
The court was filled with family and friends of Ayshawn Davis. NEWS10’s was the only camera in the courtroom to capture opening statements, which only lasted about 13 minutes. During opening statements, prosecutors claimed that Brown was behind the wheel of the blue Honda Accord used on the day of the fatal shooting.
Matthew Hauf, Chief Assistant District Attorney for Rensselaer County, said that the evidence shows that Brown knowingly took part in the reckless misconduct that caused the death of the Lansingburgh boy. He said that Troy police found the murder weapon in a backpack in Brown’s bedroom.
“DNA analysis was conducted on that handgun,” Hauf told the jury. “While there were several people associated with the sample we recovered, from the swabs taken from that 40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun, the main contributor on multiple parts of that weapon were in fact the defendant.”
Next, defense attorney Robert Molloy addressed the jurors, telling them to set aside their emotions to prepare to view the graphic evidence that will be shown at trial. The defense claimed that there is no proof that his client pulled the trigger. Molloy said two people were involved, but no one else was charged with Ayshwan’s murder.
“You’ll see a lot of proof, but there’s a big hole,” said Molloy. “There is no proof that this uncharged, unnamed shooter and Jaquay Brown were of one mind.”
In total, twelve witnesses are set to testify during the trial. The first witness to testify on Thursday was Troy Police Officer Thomas Bass, an evidence technician with the Troy Police Department. The prosecution showed images on the TV screen to jurors, including photos of the scene, and several shell casings.