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WATCH: Opening Statements in Cloud 9 Club Shooting Murder Trial Day 1


[Watch live coverage of the trial on the Law & Crime Network, with in-studio legal analysis in the player above when court begins. For a raw feed of the trial, watch in the player below this article.]

Three Florida men are scheduled to be tried on second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder charges related to a shooting outside the Cloud 9 Club in Ocala. The Law&Crime Network will carry gavel-to-gavel coverage of the case along with expert legal analysis once opening statements begin.

Laquan Barrow, Michael Smith, and Gary King are all facing charges. Barrow was 24 when he was arrested. Smith and King were 20. The three men each face second-degree murder charges for the death of Benetria Robinson, 19, who died outside the club of gunshot wounds to her head and shoulder, police and court records indicate.

Five others were injured. Nathaniel Kendrick, 35, suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. Danielle Kendrick, 28, and Dontarious Bartley, 19, were both shot in the back. Thomia Wadley, 21, and Danvinist Blunt, 22, were shot both in the leg.

All three defendants face various attempted second-degree murder charges with relation to the shootings of the five surviving victims, except for King, who does not appear to face any charges surrounding the shooting of victim Danielle Kendrick.

The shootings unfolded when victim Danielle Kendrick started fighting with another woman inside the club. Kendrick later told police she wasn’t sure if she was involved in the fight, but that Myeasha Barrow and “some other girl” were involved. Several people and defendant Barrow were reportedly thrown out out of the club, but the fight continued outside. Several witness said defendants Barrow and King went to a pickup truck. Each put something into their pockets and returned to the front of the club. There, Barrow and Smith started yelling for the crowd to move. Barrow said, “Y’all better move, I got bond money and I am going to catch a body tonight,” according to an arrest affidavit. A bouncer and other witnesses then saw Barrow reach into his pocket, pull out a gun, and shoot into the crowd.

One of the witnesses said victim Nathaniel Kendrick emerged from the club saying, “You gotta shoot me,” though another thought he said, “You wanna shoot me?”

Police officers were on a traffic stop nearby. Their body cameras recorded the sound of the gunfire. They later recovered 21 shell casings, of which 13 came from the same gun. Four bullets came from a second gun and four more came from a third gun, police reports say.

At least one of the defendants was said to have had a gun with an extended magazine.

Police reports indicate that Smith told a female friend that “he f–ked up” and that “he did it” with reference to the shooting. He told the friend he was “beefing” with someone inside the club, that he got kicked out, and that he was “not shooting at anyone,” but was instead just shooting in general.

Smith told police he was leaving the club when gunfire broke out. He claimed he balled up on the ground in order to avoid being hit. Cell phone video from outside the club, club surveillance video, and an eyewitness say Smith was wearing a white tank top and red basketball shorts, though one witness said he was wearing orange shorts and a polo shirt. One witness who was eight feet away and another who was ten to fifteen feet away identified Smith as one of the shooters.

Barrow was wearing what appeared to be brown cargo shorts and a black shirt, police reports indicate.

The shootings occurred September 13, 2015. Barrow was arrested September 21. King wasn’t arrested until October 26, and Smith wasn’t arrested until October 27.

Stay with Law& and the Law&Crime Network for continuing coverage of the case.

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.