CROWN POINT | Lake County prosecutors on Thursday rested their case against a Chicago man accused of fatally shooting a driver in a road-rage dispute last summer in Hammond.
The longtime girlfriend of the slain driver and two forensic experts also testified during the third day of Edgar Singleton's trial in Lake Criminal Court.
Singleton, 61, is charged with killing Montrell Moss, 23, of East Chicago, on Aug. 8 near Hammond’s Horseshoe Casino in a road-rage dispute that started when Singleton cut off Moss twice.
According to court testimony, Moss threw a Burger King cup of cola at Singleton’s van.
Singleton, a former Cook County Sheriff’s Department correction officer, pulled alongside Moss in the turn lane of Casino Center Drive and fired his Glock 9 mm service weapon at Moss, hitting Moss in the left neck area, according to court documents.
After being shot, Moss lost control of his blue Buick LeSabre and the car struck a fuel pump at a nearby gas station.
Singleton claims he shot Moss in self-defense because he saw the younger man with a gun, according to defense attorney Philip T. King
Shineka Robinson was in the car with Moss when he was shot. She entered the courtroom wearing a disposable face mask because of an infection. The mask muted some of Robinson’s responses to questions from Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michael Woods and King.
Robinson testified that she and Moss started the day shopping at several stores in Griffith and at lunch in Moss’ car in the parking lot at Burger King. The Burger King cup that Moss threw at Singleton’s car was part of that order.
The couple were northbound on Indianapolis Boulevard on their way to visit friends in Chicago, she said.
Being cut off by Singleton made Moss angry, which is why he called Singleton a profanity and threw the cup with some cola left in it at the passenger side of the gold minivan, she said.
Robinson said she heard the minivan driver call Moss a profanity right before the gunshot.
Questioned for nearly 1 1/2 hours by both the prosecution and defense, Robinson said Moss didn’t have a gun and had nothing in his hand, including his black cellphone, when Singleton shot her boyfriend of five years.
Other testimony presented during Thursday came from Kimberly Anderson, a forensic scientist with the Indiana State Police laboratory in Lowell, and Lt. Henry Hatch, a firearms and tool mark examiner with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department crime lab.
Anderson told the jury that she tested DNA on a straw from the Burger King cup found inside Singleton’s van and a vial of blood obtained during Moss’ autopsy. The DNA on the straw that contained saliva matched the DNA from Moss’ blood sample, she said.
Hatch testified that he examined the Glock 9 mm handgun, three magazines containing 30 rounds of live ammunition and bullet fragments and also test-fired the handgun.
“The cartridge case was fired from that Glock,” Hatch said.
The case continues Friday. At that time, the defense will decide whether to have Singleton testify.