Emanuel Kidega Samson testifies in his own defence Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee. Samson is accused of the fatal shooting of a woman and injured seven people at a Nashville church in 2017. The prosecutors have said that they are looking for a life without parole for Samson. (Shelley Mays/The Tennessean via AP, Pool)
NASHVILLE, Tennessee. – Jurors on Thursday heard jail calls in which a defendant charged with fatally shooting a woman and injured seven people at a Nashville church in 2017 laughs about it with his then-girlfriend.
The October 2017, calls were played in court Thursday in the Nashville trial of the 27-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson. Jurors began deliberations in the afternoon and will resume Friday.
A transcript of the interviews shows Samson said he heard the shooting victims say: “what is funny (expletive)” when he was on the floor of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in September 2017 after being shot during a struggle with a churchgoer.
Samson says in one of the conversations that he and his girlfriend are able to “look for the humor in every situation.”
“If I put those two bullets in my breast and I was on the ground and I could hear what everyone said and some people said some funny (expletive) bruh and I was like the Mayans were here to listen to y’all’s whack (expletive), bruh,” Samson said in an interview.
Samson also says in the interviews that he wanted to intimidate prison guards, adding that he is an “intense African look.” And the couple also brag about how well Samson looked in the news.
“Big sexy hashtag, hashtag,” Samson said in that conversation.
Prosecutors played the calls to refute Samson previous testimony denying any such comments.
Lawyer Jennifer Lynn Thompson, said that the calls that prosecutors played were only a handful of 1500 that Samson made. They pointed out how quickly Samson said in the talks, says he sounded manic.
Prosecutors said the conversations indicate that Samson wasn’t suicidal that day; the defense argued exactly the opposite.
“It is amazing that only one person lost their life in this,” the Deputy prosecutor Roger Moore said in closing arguments. “It is not so amazing that a person who did not lose their lives in these was Emanuel Samson.”
The shooting killed 38-year-old Melanie L. Crow of Smyrna, Tennessee. She was shot in the church, the parking lot, while on her way to her car to get a cough drop, and let her Bible and notes of the worship ceremony, which had just concluded, and the Deputy district Attorney Amy Hunter said.
Prosecutors are seeking life without parole for Samson, who is charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in a 43-count indictment.
Samson is black and the victims are white. Samson left a note on one of 2015 shooting massacre in a South Carolina black church, and intended to kill at least 10 white people in the revenge of the Hunter said.
Hunter has stated that a note in Samson’s car cited white supremacist Dylann Roof massacre on a black church in Charleston in 2015. It is also intended for the red, black and green Pan-African flag, also known as the RBG.
“Dylann Roof is less than nothing,” the note read, according to the Hunter. “The blood that 10 of your kind of strainer is that the color on the RBG flag in terms of revenge.” The note contained an expletive and ended with a smiley, Hunter said.
Thompson described in the note as the ramblings of someone with a schizoaffective disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, who was having hallucinations.
Samson testified that he did not remember committing the crime. He said that his mental disorders have caused lapses in memory and the constant change of feelings from ecstasy to thoughts of suicide, he said that he experienced the morning of the recording. He said that he was on the medication now in prison, and his thoughts have “slowed dramatically.”
“He went to the church, because he was struggling that day, because he remembered the christians, he reminded the people there, and he was in the hope that someone there would do something to try to stop him,” Thompson said in closing arguments.
The prosecutors have said, Samson was conveniently choose which details he could remember.
“It’s just an easy way, in my opinion, getting answers to the hard questions,” Moore said.