BELTON — After about 90 minutes of deliberation, the jury found Temple resident Cedric “Snoody” Lilly, 18, not guilty of murder in the November 2012 shooting death of Michael Green.
The three-day trial took a bizarre turn Wednesday afternoon when Lilly’s attorney, Mike White, called Ebony Sanders to testify. Sanders, 35, was ostensibly called to help portray the shooting of Green, 34, as possibly motivated by self-defense.
However, before White could begin his questioning Sanders, dressed in prison orange, said she was “mentally ill and couldn’t recall things.”
By way of an explanation, Sanders said she “can’t remember things after they happened.”
White tried to get Sanders to confirm a statement she gave Temple police officers in the hours and days following the shooting. Regardless of the question, Sanders said she was unable to recall anything.
Prosecuting attorney Paul McWilliams then tried to get Sanders to read her statement and again she said she couldn’t.
“I’m mentally ill, I’m not …,” Sanders said.
“Not what?” McWilliams asked, interrupting her. “Playing a game?”
“No sir, I’m not,” Sanders said.
“Good, because we aren’t either,” McWilliams said.
He tried once more to get her to confirm the statement by showing her the various places where she initialed the pages and where she signed the document.
“I really can’t tell if that’s my signature,” Sanders said. “I just know my name.”
McWilliams called Sgt. John Palamara of the Temple Police Department as a rebuttal witness. Palamara testified that when Sanders initially was interviewed she was responsive and “didn’t have any problems giving a statement.”
After both the prosecution and defense rested their cases, Judge Fancy Jezek, of the 426th District Court, and the attorneys began discussing the court’s charge — instructions to the jury detailing the specifics of the crime Lilly was charged with.
White moved to have a self-defense instruction placed in the charge, a motion Jezek refused. She said self-defense was not raised in testimony or in evidence.
The jury found Lilly not guilty of murdering Green.
“We had a very good jury,” White said after the decision was handed down.