Woman testifies in Saginaw murder trial to seeing boyfriend bleed out after allegedly being shot in video game dispute
SAGINAW, MI In tearful testimony, a Saginaw woman described seeing her longtime boyfriend bleed out from several gunshot wounds on euthanized relatives living room floor. She gave the emotional account of the man who allegedly fired the fatal bullets during a dispute over 'a video game' during the trial of him.
Demarcus D's trial is now over. Marcus Buell, 32, began Tuesday, Oct. 12 before Saginaw County Circuit Judge Janet M. Boes. Stefan M. Buell, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene on May 25, 2020. He is accused of being involved in the murder of 26-year-old Stefan. Rowe was a young boy who suffered from Stuck Rowley.
Coraltila A., who was on the witness stand on Wednesday morning, was also on hand. Rowes girlfriend of seven years, Coco Lavender, is nicknamed Coco. She said the two lived together in Detroit and both attended a family gathering at 2322 Mershon St. on Saginaws West Side for Memorial Day on May 24, 2020.
Buell, whom Lavender said she has known since he was in the fourth grade, also attended the gathering that evening.
Buell was like a family, Lavender said, and Bueller was as if he were family. He would come over to family functions, holidays, or just come in at any time, says the author.
Buell and Rowe had been friends for years, playing basketball, cards, and video games, according to Lavender.
She said the couple has hung out several times together. They were friends. They were cool. They had a connection outside of me.
Lavender was asked what the general mood was of the gathering by Saginaw County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa J. Hoover. Lavender responded that everyone was having a great time and having fun.
Buell seemed to be intoxicated later in the evening, while Rowe didnt appear to have been. The two men were playing a sports video game in their living room into the night and early the next morning, according to Lavender.
They were having fun together, she added. They were doing what they normally do together. They were doing their normal guy activity playing the game, making jokes, what guys do when theyre playing video games. Nothing to be concerned about. Never would I have imagined that it would have ended in a murder. Never, ever.
If I wasnt there, I wouldns not going to believe it, she continued. There never was that mood, that tone. I dont know how it got from that point to that moment. Im still in shock, how it got from there to there,
She knew Rowe had a concealed pistols license, but she didnt realize he was carrying satchels that day, she said. Buell, however, appeared with a gun when he lifted up his shirt, she said.
Lavender continued, stating she found it odd that Buell brought a gun into the house, even though she wasnt sure if he would use it to kill anyone. She said she'd never seen him with a gun before, and she added that she had never met him before.
Rowe thought Buell owed him $50 for the game they were playing. She claims that Buell gave Rowe $10 and then put together a payment app on his phone.
Lavender was in an upstairs room when she heard gunshots.
Marcus showed me that gun, Lavender said. I thought to myself, No way, no way.
Lavender ran downstairs to observe a strange sight, becoming overcome as she spoke.
I saw my baby laying on the floor, she said. My cousin was holding him and saying, Come on, man. I've got you, man.'
Rowe was bleeding from several bullet wounds, with spent casings all around him, she said. She tried to soothe him as he breathed.
Through her tears, she revealed, I couldnt help him. I couldnt help but laugh. I tried to help him, he said. He said, As a result, I tried my best.
Rowe, who had suffered a heart attack, was rushed to an area hospital, where he later died of his injuries.
He always told me, Coco, Im not scared of dying, because I know where I'm going, Lavender said. He was a youth pastor at his church. He was very spiritual and knew and believed in God and heaven.
Lavender then turned her attention to Buell, who was sitting at the defense table.
Marcus, you did it, she said. And you're probably aware that was your friend. Quit acting like you didnt know him. Stefan, you didn't just take him away. You changed families lives,
Lavender, who was not in the room when the shots were fired, said she didn't know who fired them. Linton then asked her if it is fair to say that she already believes Buell killed Rowe and that, in her mind, she desperately wants Buella to be found guilty.
Itd be fair to say I want justice, Lavender said. Justice would be the person who took a gun out and shot someone 15 times to pay for it. It doesnt matter who it was.
In a preliminary examination held in December, Michigan State Police Detective Antonio Taylor testified he and another detective interviewed Buell at the Saginaw Police Department within hours of the shooting. Taylor stated that Buell had been given his Miranda rights and waived them to speak with police.
Buell told detectives he'd played video games with Rowe and that they've bet money on the outcomes, Taylor said. Rowe grew frustrated over money Buell owed him, according to Taylor of the incident.
(Buell) told us that at one point Mr. Rowe got up and was walking towards the back deck (and) made some statements as far as He doesnt know who hes messing with or something like that, and then Mr." Rower turned around and Mr Buell shot him, Taylor said.
So Mr. Buell told you he shot Stefan Rowe? Hoover emailed the detective.
Taylor answered, Yes.
Taylor said Buell told the detectives he fired his guns entire magazine. Rowe initially said he fired when a gun pointed at him, but later said Rowell had his hand on sarin in his waistband, the detective testified.
In the same December, the cases lead investigator, MSP Detective Nate Farr, testified that he attended the autopsy on Rowe s body, which revealed a 15 gunshot wound. The wounds were entrance and exit wound, according to Farr.
Two handguns, a 9mm that belonged to Rowe and.45-caliber owned by Buell, were involved in the incident, Farr said. Police did not find any 9mm shell casings at the scene; all the castings they found were from a.45, according to Farr.
The 9mm gun was found near Rowes body, according to Farr.
Rowes blood alcohol level was 0.157 when the autopsy was performed, according to Farr, who was also questioned by Linton. In Michigan, a person is legally intoxicated when his or her blood alcohol level exceeds 0.08.
Buells trial is currently under investigation, and the video can be viewed on Judge Boes YouTube channel.
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