Final arguments in Sutherland-Kayseas murder trial hinge on whether fatal robbery done to benefit Terror Squad
20-year-old old going to jail, only question is for how long
Shaylin Sutherland-Kayseas is going to prison for fatally shooting Dylan Phillips – the only question is for how long.
Lawyers made their final arguments Friday at her first-degree murder trial. She is charged with shooting the 26-year-old in October, 2016.
Defence lawyers Jessie Buydens and Jean-Pierre Seguin argued that Sutherland-Kayseas shot Phillips accidentally during a drug robbery gone bad and that she should be convicted of manslaughter.
Prosecutors Melodi Kujawa and Christy Pannell argued that the 20-year-old shot Phillips while on a "mission" for the Terror Squad street gang and should be convicted of first-degree murder.
"During her testimony and cross-examination, she said they went there to tax Dylan, those were her own words," Kujawa said outside court.
"If Dylan had been a drug dealer, he's not a member of the TS (Terror Squad), and he's going to pay taxes to them because he's in their territory."
Buydens said the facts suggest that Sutherland-Kayseas did not intend to kill Phillips. Rather, she said that he was shot accidentally when the robbery went bad.
Buydens also said that there was no convincing evidence that Sutherland-Kayseas had set up the robbery to benefit the Terror Squad.
"Just because you're in a gang doesn't mean you've committed all your crimes for the benefit of the gang," she said.
"Anytime that you act wholly on your own, then it's not for the benefit of a criminal organization."
Justice Shawn Smith is scheduled to give his decision Sept. 28.