ANDERSON — Shortly after she heard what could have been the sound of firecrackers, Cassandra Woods had gone outside to see the commotion punctuated by the lights on first responder vehicles in the 800 block of West 12th Street when she heard a knock at her back door.
Answering it, she found Michael D. Fleming III and Orlando T. Sutton, friends of her sons William and Christopher Perry.
“They asked me was my kids home,” she told a jury Thursday.
Woods was one of several witnesses who testified on behalf of the prosecution during the third day of Fleming’s trial in Madison County Circuit Court 3 involving the Aug. 18, 2018, fatal shooting of Bryce Patterson, 19. In addition to eyewitnesses, testimony included experts in firearms and fingerprint identification who laid a foundation and established credibility by verifying evidence and chain of custody.
Fleming, 20, is charged with two counts of murder, Level 1 attempted murder and two counts of Level 2 felony robbery resulting in bodily. He and Sutton are being tried separately.
Patterson was shot to death in an apparent drug deal gone bad after he had been called by his friend, Ryan Green, to help change a tire at a convenience store near Eight Street and Madison Avenue. Patterson then followed Green to the 800 block of West 12th Street to ensure he arrived safely on the spare tire.
Woods said she observed nothing out of the ordinary and left Fleming and Sutton alone in her home in the 800 block of Nichol Avenue while she continued to investigate the incident unfolding a couple of blocks away.
“That’s when I seen my kids walk up from that way,” she said.
Accompanying her sons back to the home where they had recently moved, the trio found Fleming and Sutton still in the kitchen.
“They was talking about what they heard,” she said. “They was acting normal to me.”
But Woods’ testimony was more agreeable than that of William Perry, who reluctantly had testified right before she did, avoiding eye contact with Fleming.
Perry, who is in the custody of the Indiana Department of Correction for a conviction on an unrelated incident, told Madison County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Steven Koester he was not home that evening. He said he was attending a candlelight vigil for someone at 14th and Menifee streets and didn’t return till late.
“That was a long time ago,” he said. “I know where I was.”
When pressed by Koester how long after the incident he next saw Fleming or Sutton, Perry said he didn’t see either after the shooting, implying it was almost a year later. Even as Koester said Woods offered prosecutors a different story, Perry stuck to his version of events, implying his mother might not have recalled them correctly.
“It was way more than a week. It was more like a year,” he said.
Holding up a pair of white sneakers with metallic gold trim, Koester demanded to know from Perry whether those shoes confiscated as evidence by Anderson Police Department investigators a few days after the shooting were ones that came from Woods’ home. Perry denied owning them.
“It was a long time ago,” he answered.
Koester then showed Perry a photo of the same pair of shoes on a wooden floor and asked whether that was his home.
“There’s a lot of houses with floors like that,” he answered.