ST. LOUIS • The 13-year-old girl who watched a man die nearly two years ago trembled in the witness stand and hid her right cheek with her hand as she identified Adonnis Smith as the killer.
“He was trying to run,” the girl said of Brandon “B.J.” Ellington’s final moments in March 2016, “but he spit out blood and fell.”
Then 11 years old, the girl was taking turns with a friend on roller skates when she saw Smith get out of a car and shoot Ellington. Ellington, 35, of Northwoods, was shot twice in the head, once in the leg and again in the back about 2:45 p.m. March 19, 2016, in the 3900 block of Lexington Avenue.
She said Smith then bent down to pick up a bag of marijuana before spotting her and yelling, “Damn!”
The teen said she was certain Smith was the shooter because he was the only one she could see holding a gun; she also said she had recognized Smith because he was friends with her brother and had driven her to school at least once.
Assistant Circuit Attorney Morley Swingle lauded the teen in closing arguments, saying courage is not the absence of fear but doing the right thing even when you’re afraid. He said more murders in St. Louis would be