Quanell X takes stand in Shepherd trial

October 3, 2008 4:57:20 PM PDT
Timothy Shepherd is accused of killing his girlfriend and burning her remains. Community activist Quanell X, who helped Shepherd surrender to police, took the stand for some emotional testimony in the disturbing case.A long time critic of police and prosecutors, Quanell X became the unlikely star witness for the state in the case against Timothy Shepherd, spending more than an hour on the stand, giving occasionally gruesome testimony.

He recalled, "I said, 'Tim, is she dead?' And Tim (nodded)."

At the height of search for a then-missing Tynesha Stewart, relatives called the civil rights leader and asked him to help.

"I was concerned the brother's rights might have been violated," Quanell X testified.

The Houston minister got choked up as he described to the jury when he began to doubt Shepherd's innocence. Out of court, he repeated parts of his testimony for reporters.

He said, "I said, 'Tim, what happened, man?' He said, 'Man, that b----- lied to me.'"

Later, Quanell X testified Shepherd led him and a sheriff's deputy to a trash dumpster and indicated where he put Stewart.

"I said, 'How did you put her in here? Was she, did you put her in something?' Quanell X recalled. "He said, 'Yes, I threw her in the dumpster.'"

As damaging Quanell X's testimony may sound, Chip Lewis, Shepherd's defense lawyer, says it helps their case.

"That witness is very important, as that he is the eyes and ears of the situation as it was developing," Lewis explained.

Under cross examination, Lewis made it clear Shepherd never explicitly told Quanell X that he killed Stewart.

Lewis asked, "He never told you in any shape or form that he harmed Tynesha Stewart?"

"No," Quanell X answered.

Despite that, outside of court Quanell X made it clear he considers Stewart the victim and Shepherd's lack of remorse troubling.

"If there's anything that really hurt me still, it's the brother's attitude," Quanell X said. "He just really didn't give a damn."

One of Harris County's crime scene investigators also testified that blood evidence was collected from the bathroom in Shepherd's apartment. Throughout testimony, Shepherd has shown no emotion. Testimony will continue on Monday.

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