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Man testifies about Layton fight, fatal shooting over bag of marijuana

By Mark Shenefelt - | Apr 27, 2022

Mark Shenefelt, Standard-Examiner

The 2nd District courthouse in Farmington is pictured on Monday, Nov. 1. 2021.

FARMINGTON — A 21-year-old man testified Wednesday he was examining his friend Kannon Beesley’s latest marijuana supplies when he felt a push and then Michael Jameel Hines started shooting.

Jeremiah Wright took the stand in 2nd District Court as Hines’ trial continued in the March 13, 2020, death of the 18-year-old Beesley at his mother’s house in Layton.

Wright said he hit his head on the bedroom floor after the push. “As soon as I looked up, Kannon and Mike were fighting over a bag of weed, and Kannon looked at me, like, ‘Jer, help,'” Wright said. “I saw like a flash go off and there was smoke in the room.”

He said he put his head down and “another one went off.”

“Everything happened so fast,” Wright said. Asked by prosecutor Benjamin Willoughby if he got involved in the fight, Wright said, “I was too scared to. I was, like, ‘Michael, what are you doing?'”

Hines and Wright were arrested initially, but prosecutors never filed charges against Wright. Hines is charged with first-degree felony murder, second-degree felony obstruction of justice and third-degree felony possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

Wright testified that he, Hines and Angelo Washington Jr. drove from Salt Lake City to Layton on the night of March 12, 2020. Wright said he owed Beesley $100 for marijuana. Beesley needed to raise $3,500 for his attorney to fight a gun charge against him, Wright said.

Wright and other witnesses testified that Beesley often sold them marijuana. He said he and Beesley had been friends since they played football together at Central Davis Junior High School. He said their shared interests included “sports, girls, weed and rap.”

Wright said Beesley was showing him his new marijuana items and they were preparing to grind some to roll it into “blunts.” Hines was staying by the door, one of Beesley’s two pit bulls growling at him, Wright said.

After the shooting, Wright said he looked up and Hines was gone. Beesley looked at Wright and said, “I’m shot.”

Wright said he was in shock as he, Hines and Angelo Washington Jr., who had stayed in the car, drove back south. “I couldn’t breathe,” he said. He said he kept saying, “Kannon’s dead, Kannon’s dead,” and Hines said, “He ain’t dead.”

When they dropped Hines at his girlfriend’s home in North Salt Lake, he said Hines looked at him and said, “You’d better not say nothing.”

Defense attorney Jonathan Nish’s cross-examination of Wright pointed out apparent inconsistencies in Wright’s various interviews with police, including his initial failure to say that Hines had been with him in Beesley’s room. Nish also noted that Wright has received immunity from prosecution in the case.

Earlier, Dr. Andrew Guajardo, an assistant state medical examiner, said Beesley died of a shot to the center of the chest that damaged his heart, a lung, his liver and diaphragm and exited his lower back. Guajardo said a second shot caused a non-fatal injury to his armpit area.

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