Dale Willis didn’t fire the fusillade of .45-caliber bullets that ended Jurl Carter’s life.
Johnson County prosecutors say Dale Willis’ brother, James Willis, was the gunman.
But prosecutors say the 24-year-old aspiring rapper died at Dale Willis’ command after the two engaged in a brief but heated altercation.
And on Tuesday, prosecutors began making their case to the jury that will decide if Dale Willis should be found guilty of first-degree murder.
James Willis will be tried separately.
“This was a murder over disrespect,” Assistant District Attorney Alex Scott told the jury Tuesday. “Mouthing off to the wrong person can get you killed.”
Defense attorney Dan Ross, however, told jurors that no witness would testify that they heard or saw Dale Willis command or direct that Carter be shot.
Ross said some witnesses outside the Overland Park bar where Carter was fatally shot heard Carter threaten to kill other people and believed that Carter was armed.
“Everyone in the crowd thought he had a gun and was going to use it,” Ross said during his opening statement.
Carter was killed last September outside Jim Kilroy’s Roxy Bar at 75th Street and Metcalf Avenue.
According to the attorneys who laid out the evidence that will be presented at trial:
Dale Willis, 33, a rapper known as Poppa Willo, was at the bar to perform that night.
Carter, too, hoped to perform, although he was not allowed to take the stage.
While at the bar, Dale Willis spotted a rival he did not get along with. He texted that news to his younger brother, who answered back that he was on his way.
At some point, Dale Willis and Carter were outside the bar when they reportedly got into a heated exchange.
As they stood outside, James Willis arrived. Dale Willis then allegedly punched Carter in the face, knocking him to the ground.
Carter got in his car and started to drive away.
According to prosecutors, the Willis brothers were walking beside the car when James Willis pulled out a gun and fired 11 shots into the vehicle.
The defense, however, maintained that Dale Willis was attempting to walk away when an unknown gunman fired the fatal shots.
A surveillance camera recorded the shooting, though it was from a distance, and individuals are hard to see on the video.
Jurors on Tuesday were shown that video.
They also watched the dash cam video recorded from the patrol car of the first police officer to arrive after the shooting.
As officers began first aid on Carter, people in the crowd can be heard frantically yelling for him to breathe and hang on.
Carter was shot four times in the chest and could not be saved.
Prosecutors said there was no evidence that Carter was armed that night.
In questioning the police officers who responded to the scene, defense attorney Craig Divine established that there would have been ample time for someone to remove a gun from the scene before officers arrived or when their attention was focused on treating Carter.
Trial testimony is expected to last at least a week.