I-20 shooting victim's fiance tells of her final moments - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

I-20 shooting victim's fiance tells of her final moments

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The trial is underway for a man accused of shooting a young mother while she was driving down Interstate 20. It happened in 2004.

Tuesday, her fiance took the stand and we learned new details about what happened in the seconds leading up to her death.

Gene Derrick chokes up over his relationship with his fiance Stephanie Dover. He talked about their last day together, going to a cookout with their two young sons, then driving home. "Me and Stephanie continued our conversation about getting married. The boys were both asleep."

They were on I-20 after midnight, when in seconds, Derrick's life changed forever. He told the jury they passed a black pickup truck. Then, the truck caught up with them. "When the vehicle came back up on us, I started hearing gunshots."

"I raced ahead, tried to run the truck down."

"To get a tag number - figure out what happened."

Moments later, the car he had just bought for Stephanie got hit. "The vehicle came back across the far right lane, and I saw flames from the gun barrel."

"I could see the passenger look back."

"And that's when I realized my fiance was shot. I turned to her and asked for my phone, and she fell in my lap."

Gunshots riddled the car. Derrick almost got hit himself. A bullet grazed their three-year-old son's Zach's leg. Stephanie died.

A year later, after news reports, a tip led investigators to John Joseph Moore, age 21. Moore told investigators someone in Stephanie's car made an obscene gesture at him. Derrick says no.

Prosecutor: "Did you do anything to that man to cause that black truck to shoot your vehicle?"
Gene Derrick: "No sir."
Prosecutor: "Did you threaten him? Cuss him? Fight with him? Any idea who they were?"
Gene Derrick: "No idea whatsoever."

Derrick says he never saw the tag number. Investigators put him under hypnosis to see if that would trigger his memory.

In court Tuesday, there was legal wrangling about whether the tape of his hypnosis is admissible. The judge said in his 17 years on the bench he'd never seen hypnosis before, but that prosecutors could present it. We expect that later this week.

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Reported by Jennifer Wilson

Posted by Chantelle Janelle

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