Juror dismissed, brother takes stand in Zaevion Dobson trial

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KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Day four of Zaevion Dobson's murder trial included emotional moments and first-hand accounts of the night the Fulton High School student and football player lost his life.

15-year-old Zaevion was killed after he threw himself on top of his friends to shield them from gunfire. Investigators reported the shooting was gang-related and the victims were picked at random.

Zaevion's final act gained national attention, including praise from former President Barack Obama and the honor of an Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2016 ESPY Awards.

Christopher Drone Bassett, Kipling Deshawn Colbert and Richard Gregory Williams III all face first-degree murder charges in connection with the Dec. 17, 2015, death of the Knoxville teen who was posthumously honored for his courage.

Local 8 News anchor Lauren Davis was in the courtroom Thursday morning when a juror was dismissed from the trial. The juror was dismissed for being late to the trial on Monday, as well as not showing up at all on Thursday. The court said another juror would take his place.

Zaevion's brother Zack Dobson took the stand Thursday, explaining he and his brother had been at a high school basketball game the night of Dec. 17, 2015. The two had gone to a friend's house, where six of them were sitting outside on the porch. Zack recalled seeing three or four men dressed in black.

Zack recalled one friend saying, "Things don't feel right, I'm gonna go," when shots started ringing into the night. Zack and his friends began running as the bullets flew by them, he said in court Thursday.

In an emotional retelling, Zack said he went back to the porch after the shots were fired and saw his brother lying there dead.

"When I got inside, they said, 'Your brother is on the porch,'" Zack said. "I grabbed his hoodie, there was blood all over his face. I shook him to get up, I just took off my shirt and started running."


All of the friends on the porch that evening said they didn't know why the men in the car were shooting at them, nor could they identify the men in a line-up.

Zaevion's mother Zenobia Dobson also took the stand Thursday, recalling how her sons had checked in with her that night, right before leaving to go outside—and right before the shots were fired.

"I heard gunshots," she said. "My sons just went out the door." Zenobia Dobson remembered hoping for her sons' safety, saying, "I started praying immediately. My phone started ringing immediately. But I knew."


The girls who were on the porch that night with Zaevion and his brother also testified Thursday, saying they saw the men standing there before they began shooting. They recalled getting down on the porch with Zaevion, who grabbed chairs to protect them.

Thursday in court, a witness did testify, however, that he could identify one of the suspects in court in a rap video.

Witness Davante Patrick said the man shown in the rap video, which was played in court Thursday, was the man he saw on the street the night Zaevion died. The witness circled the man in the video and identified him as defendant Kipling Colbert. Patrick was the first witness to identify any suspect.

FOLLOW THE TRIAL:
Zaevion Dobson murder trial underway in Knox County
Chilling testimony details the night of Zaevion Dobson's murder