CROWN POINT | The murder trial of a 34-year-old Gary woman opened Tuesday with the state claiming the woman killed a longtime boyfriend after partying, and the defense claiming it was the toll of years of domestic abuse.
Lake Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michael Toth told jurors 37-year-old Jermaine Ellis died from 10 gunshots fired by Kaneka Kidd in November 2009 when the couple left a party in Merrillville.
Ellis was sitting in the driver's seat when Kidd reached into her purse and shot the man from the passenger's side of the car, Toth told jurors.
Kidd then sat in the dead man's lap to drive the car back to Gary where they lived, he said.
Testimony will show questions over whether there had been a dispute between the couple, he said.
Blood alcohol testing will show the couple had been drinking, he said.
Cellphone records will show Kidd, while driving back to Gary, called friends and family, but not police, he said.
The couple had five children, not all theirs together, and they were living separately at the time of the shooting.
Defense attorney Scott King described Kidd's life as one of exposure to abuse both as a child and in the relationship with Ellis, with whom she became involved when he moved into her grandmother's house when the girl was 13.
Over the years together, Ellis beat, choked and continuously debased Kidd who nevertheless earned a GED, got a job, bought a car and finally moved into her own place while Ellis continued to live with the girl's grandmother, King told jurors.
King said when an enraged Ellis came to the party on the night of the shooting, she left as ordered when the 305-pound Ellis struck her in the head with the car door.
King said jurors would hear Kidd's 911 call where she says, "I wasn't going to let him beat me anymore."
In 2006, Kidd's 6-year-old son died when a speeding car drove into a crowd along Fifth Avenue in Gary. The crash also killed three other bystanders and severely injured six others.