Columbia election day shooting trial begins

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 | 4:51 p.m. CST; updated 9:42 a.m. CST, Wednesday, November 18, 2009

COLUMBIA — A fight over counterfeit money prompted Grady Dortch to shoot Miles Heard in Douglass Park last November, according to testimony Tuesday in Dortch's trial on a charge of first-degree murder.

In opening statements, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Morrell told the jury that they would hear about the friendship between Dortch, 28 at the time of the shooting, and Heard, 29 at the time of the shooting, and their fatal falling out about counterfeit money. Heard’s fiancee, LaChonia Reid, also testified.

Several days before the fatal shooting, on Halloween night, the two men had fought at a club. Then, on Nov. 4, 2008, Heard was shot twice with a small-caliber handgun at close range in Douglass Park, once in the right side of his chest and once in the left thigh. He died shortly after at University Hospital.

Police said at the time of the shooting about 50 people were at Douglass Park and several told police Dortch was the shooter, according to previous Missourian reports.

Police obtained a warrant for Dortch's arrest, and he turned himself in the next day.

Testimony continued Tuesday afternoon in Callaway County Court. Stay with for continuing coverage.

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