A “scorned” woman upset that her boyfriend got another woman pregnant?”and who claims to have put a spell on the baby?”is framing him in a West Side murder out of revenge, defense attorneys said Jan. 25.
Cortez “DeAngelo” Powell, 22, of the 1600 block of North Austin Boulevard, is accused of fatally shooting Marcus Rogers at about 1 a.m. on June 11, 2002, at the intersection of Division and Lawndale.
As his trial got under way in Criminal Court a week ago Tuesday, testimony was dominated by Powell’s ex-girlfriend, Teresa Roberson, 24, a key prosecution witness who testified that she saw Powell shoot into Rogers’ car as it was heading eastbound on Division. Under cross-examination, Roberson admitted she was and is a heavy marijuana user.
Rogers was shot but managed to pull his car into an auto shop lot a few blocks away, according to his passenger, Tiffany Correa, 25, who also testified Tuesday. He later died.
Roberson testified that she and several friends, including Powell, were standing at the corner of Division and Lawndale smoking marijuana and drinking beer when Rogers’ car approached. She said that she and Powell were arguing and that he crossed the street away from her and fired into the car as it passed, yelling “Bitch!”
Cook County State’s Attorney spokeswoman Marcy Jensen did not have information on the alleged motive for the shooting.
Under questioning by the defense, Roberson admitted that she had consumed two beers and smoked three “blunts”?”cigars packed with marijuana?”on the day of the shooting and that she has been a habitual marijuana user since she was 12 years old.
“I smoke marijuana every day,” she testified. “I smoke a blunt three times a day.”
Although she later testified that she is not aware of what’s going on around her when she smokes marijuana, she said the details of the killing were clear to her. She also admitted to having smoked three blunts on the day she was interviewed by police and prosecutors about the murder.
She denied having smoked any marijuana before she came to court on Tuesday.
Assistant Public Defender Dan Gallagher said in his opening statement that Powell was at home playing video games with his brother when the shooting occurred. He told jurors that Roberson was fingering Powell “out of spite, out of anger, out of revenge” because she’d found out that he had fathered a child with another woman.
That child was born on June 5, 2002, less than a week before the killing. Roberson testified that she believes the child is rightfully hers because Powell was her boyfriend at the time of its conception. She also said that she put a spell on the baby to give it her lips.
She and Powell had been dating for about a year when the shooting occurred. She said she continued their relationship for a year after the shooting but eventually ended it because she felt what he did “was not right.” She admitted to having a tattoo of Powell’s name on the side of her neck and to writing to him and visiting him in jail.