ELYRIA — Abline Cannon’s defense team admits their client lied to police and others multiple times after David Barreiro was shot and killed in his own apartment in a December 2016 home invasion. According to his attorneys, though, that doesn’t mean Cannon is the one responsible for the slaying of Barreiro.
The murder trial of Cannon, 38, of Cleveland, is now in the hands of the jury after both prosecutors and Cannon’s defense attorneys gave closing statements Monday.
Cannon is accused of murdering Barreiro, a heroin dealer, after kicking in the door to Barreiro’s apartment and getting into a shootout with him. Barreiro was found dead in his bedroom with four gunshot wounds. Cannon was found shortly after at University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center with a gunshot wound in the arm.
Assistant County Prosecutor Laura Dezort said that Cannon, along with at least one other man, kicked in the door of Barreiro’s apartment to rob Barreiro. As they came into the apartment, they found a man sleeping on the couch and quickly put a gun to his head and pistol-whipped him when he tried to sit up.
Dezort and Assistant County Prosecutor Tony Cillo said Cannon and his accomplice believed they had the situation under control, believing the man on the couch to be Barreiro, but instead it was his twin brother, Daniel Barreiro. David Barreiro was in a bedroom in the back of the apartment.
When one of the intruders went to the back of the apartment, still thinking the only occupant was subdued, he was surprised to find David Barreiro in there with a gun of his own, prosecutors said. That’s when the shootout began, she said.
Prosecutors pointed out that Cannon told at least seven lies to police and medical personnel in the hours after the shooting. They also pointed out Cannon was taken to the Elyria hospital, even though he was approximately 1.5 miles from a hospital in Lorain.
When questioned by Lorain police, Cannon said he was shot at the Cotton Club in Lorain by someone trying to rob him. He told a nurse at the hospital that he’d been shot while walking down the street. When police questioned him on whether he’d been at the apartment on Shore Boulevard where the shooting took place, he denied it.
Defense attorney James Burge said Cannon is a “professional criminal,” which is why he lied.
“For a criminal, an arrest is like death. He knows it’s going to come sooner or later; he just doesn’t want it today,” Burge said. “Those are the reasons for the lies — explainable from his perspective but very curious from ours.”
Cannon testified that he went to David Barreiro’s apartment to meet with the twin brothers to discuss the sale of 2 ounces of uncut heroin, which he said was worth about $5,000. Cannon said he went there with three other men and went into the apartment to conduct the sale with one of the men, leaving the other two outside with the vehicle.
Cannon said while he was inside talking with David and Daniel Barreiro about the heroin, the other two men kicked the door in and got into a shootout with David Barreiro.
Prosecutors said Cannon only came up with his story after he had seen all the evidence police had against him after he’d been arrested and was in custody in Lorain County Jail.
Burge also called into question the testimony of Daniel Barreiro during his closing argument, saying that Daniel Barreiro had some inconsistencies in his story about why he had been staying at his brother’s apartment that night. Prosecutors said the inconsistencies in Daniel Barreiro’s testimony, which occurred nearly two years after the events, were nothing compared to Cannon’s, who was telling lies immediately after the shooting had occurred.
Both sides walked the jury through the crime scene one last time, mapping out the trajectory of the 11 shots said to have been fired during the shootout. Prosecutors say there is one missing bullet, which they believe is the one still lodged in Cannon’s arm, which was never recovered since he left a Cleveland hospital later the day of the shooting against medical advice.
Burge said the state’s version of what happened that night is just a “hypothesis” and is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Burge said there’s another reason why the jury should find Cannon not guilty of the charges.
“What he’s telling you is that he doesn’t rob, he doesn’t kick doors in and he doesn’t shoot people,” Burge said. “He sells drugs. The state of Ohio has presented absolutely no evidence that he’s done any of the things he’s accused of.”
Burge said the only thing the state has proven is that Cannon was at the apartment building when the shootout occurred, since his blood was found inside David Barreiro’s apartment.
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