Final arguments in Stamford shooting trial expected today
STAMFORD - Final arguments are expected Wednesday in the Stamford jury trial of a Bridgeport man, charged with shooting two Norwalk men, robbing another and setting a stolen car on fire in Stamford.
The two week trial of Onaje Smith, 20, who is also charged with shooting and killing Stamford resident Shane Slinsky in August 2016, will draw to a close today with the final arguments of the prosecutor in the case Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Manning and defense attorney Miles Gerety.
The trial began with the testimony of two Chinese food delivery drivers who the state says was robbed in Norwalk by Smith and Tyreik Gantt of Stamford in January 2017. The drivers said the men who robbed them were masked and they could not identify Gantt or Smith.
Over the past two weeks, Manning has put up a number of witnesses who presented circumstantial evidence against them in the case.
Gantt, who was to be tried with Smith, ended up making open guilty pleas to over a dozen felonies that Smith also faces before the trial began, and could be sentenced up to 206 years behind bars for those pleas.
Food delivery driver Wuguian Huang, 41, testified about arriving to a Rolling Lane home in Norwalk on Jan. 9, 2017 when he was approached by two men dressed in black and wearing ski masks.
Huang said he was holding his phone in one hand and the food in the other when one of the men shoved a gun in his chest and the other rifled through his pockets for his wallet.
“’I will shoot if you don’t give me your wallet. I will shoot,’” Huang recalled the man said.
“I was so scared,” he added.
Fenyan Chen, another Chinese food delivery driver, also testified Monday about how he was robbed five days later on Derby Road in Norwalk. Chen said he could not find the house and called the number that placed the order. He said the man told him to go down the street to a home where a red car was parked.
As Chen walked into the yard, he said he was confronted by two masked men, one carrying a gun. Chen said the gunman fired a shot, knocking the cellphone from his hand.
After grabbing the food, the other man rummaged through Chen’s pockets. Chen testified that when he begged the men to not take his wallet, the man going through his pockets told the gunman, “’shoot him. shoot him.’”
Chen testified the gunman aimed the pistol at the upper part of his left leg. But before he could pull the trigger, Chen said he pushed the barrel of the pistol to the outside part of his leg, so his bone would not be struck. The bullet struck Chen’s left hand and the outside of his left thigh.