Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trial begins in killing outside St. Petersburg pool hall

Dwayne M. Bailey, 27, is accused of killing Marquell Burge in 2011.

Dwayne M. Bailey, 27, is accused of killing Marquell Burge in 2011.

LARGO — A hail of gunfire ripped into a St. Petersburg house two years ago and the bullets somehow missed the six children, ages 2 through 15, who huddled inside.

The case has never been solved. But on Monday, the echoes of the drive-by that nearly turned tragic came to a courtroom.

That's because Dwayne M. Bailey is accused of shooting to death a man named Marquell Burge, 30. Authorities have long suspected associates of Burge's caught wind of his death and came back to the house where Bailey was staying to pay him back with gunfire.

The murder trial against Bailey, 27, began Monday, and it will give jurors a glimpse into this March 2011 night of violence in St. Petersburg. But only a glimpse. Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Philip Federico said prosecutors can mention the shooting at the house but not the retaliation theory.

In an unusual development, Assistant State Attorney Frank Migliore raised the possibility of taking jurors to the scene of the fatal shooting, behind a pool hall called the Game Room, 1149 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S, St. Petersburg. Federico reserved time for today for him to argue why it would be necessary.

Prosecutors told jurors that Bailey got out of jail in March 2011, got a Subway sandwich and stopped by the Game Room.

Later, someone came to the alley behind the Game Room and said he wanted some drugs. When Burge came out, a man raised a gun to the back of Burge's head and fired.

"The gun went off, Bo Diddley, he fell on his face," said Lorenzo Brown, 50, an eyewitness who cleaned up around the Game Room. Burge was known as "Bo Diddley" or "Bo."

He was "shot one time in the back of the head, he fell face down in the gravel," Assistant State Attorney Susan St. John said. "He was shot in the head by Dwayne Bailey during a robbery."

Defense attorney Richard Watts disputed that during his opening statement. He said Bailey had gone to the Game Room earlier in the evening but did not shoot Burge.

The state's case, he said, is based entirely on "eyewitness misidentification and jailhouse snitches."

"You won't be presented with any hard evidence," he said.

During Brown's testimony Monday, defense attorney Lane Lastinger asked if he really could identify Bailey even though the killer covered his face with a black T-shirt.

Brown said he could identify Bailey by his light skin, a tattoo on his neck and because he recognized his eyes.

The shooting into the home that followed Burge's death was reminiscent of a 2009 shooting that killed 8-year-old Paris Whitehead-Hamilton. She died after a neighborhood gang shot into a home while seeking revenge against another gang. People trying to end violence in the city rallied around that case.

Trial begins in killing outside St. Petersburg pool hall 07/22/13 [Last modified: Monday, July 22, 2013 11:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New 6.2 magnitude earthquake centered in southern Mexico

    World

    MEXICO CITY — The U.S. Geological Survey says the new earthquake to strike Mexico had a magnitude of 6.2 and was centered in the southern state of Oaxaca.

  2. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018

    Blogs

    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    Catcher Wilson Ramos connects for a two-run single in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Sept. 20, 2017.
  3. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen

    Bucs

    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

    Four of tight end Kyle Rudolph's seven catches this season have come on third down, including this 15-yard touchdown in the Vikings' opener against the Saints. [Getty Images]
  4. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum

    Hurricanes

    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm.