Jurors hear slain Marine's wife in 911 call in Kentucky murder trial

By GREG KOCHER | Lexington Herald-Leader | Published: June 14, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Tribune News Service) — "Jonathan, I love you. Jonathan, I love you," Megan Price repeatedly told her husband in a 911 recording of the night the two were shot outside Austin City Saloon in Lexington, Kentucky. Marine Cpl. Jonathan Price died.

The attackers wanted Megan Price's purse.

The 911 call was played Wednesday for jurors as opening arguments and witness testimony got underway in the trial of Quincinio Canada, 26, and Dawan Mulazim, 34. Both could face the death penalty. They are charged with murder, robbery and assault and are suspected of a string of more crimes surrounding Jonathan Price's killing on June 21, 2014. Megan Price was shot in the leg.

Andrea Kendall, Mulazim's attorney, said DNA evidence excludes the two as suspects.

Jonathan Price died of a single gunshot wound to the back. "He was a Marine but he didn’t die in combat,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kathryn Webster said in her opening statement. “Instead, his life was taken from him.”

Canada and Mulazim “acted together to rob and kill Jonathan Price and to rob Megan Price,” Webster said.

Canada and Mulazim also robbed three people six days earlier at the Quality Inn on Newtown Court, Webster said. A gun stolen in that robbery was the weapon used to shoot the Prices, Webster said.

Webster said the prosecution will ask jurors to hold Canada and Mulazim “accountable for what they did, to reject their claims that they’re not responsible, to reject their claims that it’s somebody else’s fault.”

Kendall, a public defender for Mulazim, said in her opening statement that DNA evidence found underneath Jonathan Price’s fingernails will exonerate Mulazim and Canada.

“DNA that excludes Dawan Mulazim. DNA that excludes Quincinio Canada,” Kendall said.

Kendall said that Lexington police, “facing immense pressure to solve a high-profile murder in a summer of high-profile murders,” made a rush to judgment as to who was responsible.

The police ignored numerous tips from citizens and law enforcement officers that pointed to other suspects, Kendall said. The murder weapon was eventually found in possession of another man, she said.

Police “had their suspects, and once this assumption was formed, it would not be revisited,” Kendall said.

Chris Tracy, public defender for Canada, chose not to make an opening statement until later in the trial.

Before breaking for lunch, the jury heard testimony from Shane Hansford, one of the people robbed at the Quality Inn six days before the Price shootings.

Hansford said one robber, whom he identified as Mulazim, shoved a gun into his chest and said, “Give me everything you’ve got.”

The gun taken in the robbery was loaded, Hansford said.

The opening statements and testimony began after 10 days of jury selection. Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine is presiding over the trial.

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