A jury deliberated about 45 minutes Wednesday evening before convicting Michael Cartwright III of shooting Anika Emmanuel as she drove away from a Huber Heights theater parking lot last summer.
Cartwright, 19, of Dayton, was found guilty on two counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of felonious assault, all with mandatory firearm specifications. Cartwright, who did not testify in his own defense, will be sentenced March 17. He hung his head as the verdict was read in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. His bond was revoked and he was handcuffed and led from the courtroom.
After both the prosecution and defense attorneys rested their cases and gave closing arguments late Wednesday afternoon, Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Michael Krumholtz gave the case to the jury consisting of six men and six women.
Emmanuel was a manager at the Huber Heights Danbarry Cinemas and got in her white Ford Explorer with a bank deposit bag June 26, 2013 when she said an armed person fired a gun that shattered her passenger window and punctured her abdomen.
During closing arguments, Montgomery County assistant prosecutor Jon Marshall said Emmanuel, Cartwright’s cousin and his cousin’s friend were eyewitnesses to events that night that pin the crimes on Cartwright, and that their stories were backed up by circumstantial evidence.
Marshall reiterated that Cartwright told his cousin and her friend that he didn’t want to take the bus home, and that one of them heard him say something about shooting someone. Surveillance video at a nearby convenience store placed those three in the area near the theater around the time of the shooting.
“It’s going to boil down to whether or not you believe those two girls on the stand who testified this morning,” defense attorney Shawn Hooks said during closing arguments and pointing to what he called inconsistencies between their stories. “If you do not feel within your heart beyond a reasonable doubt, he is not guilty.”
Marshall also replayed the 911 call Emmanuel made as she drove from the theater at 7650 Waynetowne Blvd. to the Huber Heights Police Division, which is on Taylorsville Road about a mile away. “Oh my God, I think I’m going to die,” Emmanuel told a dispatcher during the 911 call.
Hooks questioned Huber Heights police Det. Brian Doyle about the six-suspect photo layout Emmanuel was shown during the investigation.
Hooks testified that he knew Cartwright was a suspect when he showed Emmanuel the photos, which is against normal procedure of having someone administer the photo spread who doesn’t know who the suspect is. Hooks said it was more imperative to show Emmanuel a photo spread before she was tainted by seeing media reports showing Cartwright’s photo than to have blind administration.
Cartwright turned himself in July 3, 2013 after finding out he was being sought in connection with the case. He’s been held in Montgomery County Jail since then.