Testifying as a witness for the state in Alcorn County Circuit Court, Traylor said he signed the written statement without reading it on June 30, 2017, when he pleaded guilty to capital murder in the shooting death of store clerk Kris Ledlow on Feb. 1, 2016.
Both sides rested their cases on Monday, and the case is expected to go to the jury Tuesday morning following closing arguments. Bostic, standing trial for capital murder, also took the stand in his own defense, describing a trip to Tunica the night before the shooting.
Traylor, 18, said he cannot identify the accomplice who acted as lookout during the attempted robbery because "I was under the influence — heavily under the influence,” he said.
Traylor said he continued to be under the influence when he was interviewed by detectives with the Corinth police department because of the effects of drugs he had taken.
Although the written statement contains the name of co-defendant Micah Bostic, Traylor said he never used that name and that those taking the statement edited his words. He said he does not have good comprehension skills and at times was just going along with what people were telling him to do. Investigator Chuck Bunn III of the district attorney’s office later testified that the statement was not altered.
Traylor also denied being a friend of Bostic. He said he had only seen him a couple of times, and “he’s not the type guy I associate with.” Bostic later testified that Traylor does know him.
Traylor said “there’s plenty of people” named “Drop,” which has repeatedly surfaced during the trial as Bostic’s street name.
The signed statement says Traylor asked Bostic to come with him to collect some money and that he believes Bostic knew what his intentions were as the two headed to the gas station on Highway 72 East. It says when they arrived in the area of the Mapco, Traylor said he was going in to collect some money, and Bostic said he was coming in to look out for him.
With Traylor on the stand, Assistant District Attorney David Daniels played the videotaped interview of Traylor with Corinth detectives. In the video, Traylor uses the name “Drop” for the accomplice and mentions that Drop had just got out of prison after serving eight years. Bostic has said he robbed a taxi driver with another individual.
In the taped conversation with Detective Jerry Rogers, Traylor says he “wasn’t trying to shoot her to kill her.”
Traylor said he had not seen the store surveillance footage and, during questioning by Daniels, asked for it to be played. Soon after it played again before the jury, Traylor shut down his testimony by responding with “no comment” to all questions.
“You are scared you will get killed” because of gang association and testifying in court, Daniels said to Traylor.
His testimony was often heated. At one point, Traylor was surrounded by five law enforcement officers when he refused to stand for a height comparison with Bostic.
The prosecution also called Jail Administrator Steven Keith Wilburn of the Alcorn County Correctional Facility, who testified that a letter from Brooklyn Traylor to “Drop” was given to one of the jail employees to be passed to Bostic. There was also a second letter from Traylor to “Drop,” he said. The content of the letters was not discussed.
Taking the stand as the defense began its case, Bostic detailed a trip to Tunica on the evening of Jan. 31, 2016, with his brother, Alex; a girlfriend; and a cousin. They arrived back in Corinth around 2 a.m., he said, and went to the cousin’s residence at Country Lane Apartments. Bostic said he left there about 6 a.m. and went to the Lavay Trice residence at the J.B. Combs Apartments. He said Traylor came to the residence while he was in the shower and wanted to speak to him, and Trice put Traylor out of the apartment.
In contrast to some prior testimony from others, Bostic said Dezzon Thomas was not at the residence.
Bostic went to Ripley, where he said he had job interviews that day, and stayed at the residence of the girlfriend’s grandmother, where he was later arrested.
Bostic said he wore the hooded sweatshirt bearing his DNA to a party on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, and left it on a pile of clothes at the Trice residence, contradicting testimony of a female friend who said he wore it on Sunday, Jan. 31.
“That’s not my shirt. I’ve just worn it before,” he said.
He denied being a member of the Gangster Disciples. He said he “got beat up and smashed out” of the gang.
He said the only criminal activity between himself and Traylor was an exchange of drugs and money.
“So it was another guy named Drop,” said Daniels, “wearing your shirt with your DNA on it, that framed you up for this?”
The defendant’s brother, Alex Bostic, testified that he was with Micah Bostic from about 7 p.m. the night before the shooting until about 7 a.m. on the day of the shooting, which happened about 5:39 a.m. Although they were heading to Tunica, Alex Bostic said he learned about half-way through the drive that his brother did not have an ID. For that reason, he said, they didn’t go into any casinos and stayed in Tunica for only about 90 minutes. He said they drove by the casinos and stopped at a reservoir.
District Attorney John Weddle suggested that Alex Bostic, testifying to provide an alibi for his brother, made up a story that kept them out of the Tunica casinos, where there would have been verifiable video footage of their presence.