Man says he waved cellphone — not gun — at detective on trial for manslaughter

SHARE Man says he waved cellphone — not gun — at detective on trial for manslaughter
SHARE Man says he waved cellphone — not gun — at detective on trial for manslaughter

Antonio Cross testified Monday he had a cellphone in his hand when he made a “get the f— out” motion over his shoulder toward off-duty Chicago Police officer Dante Servin.

Servin, now 46, then allegedly fired five bullets from an unregistered handgun, including one that fatally struck 22-year-old Rekia Boyd in the head.

Servin is charged with manslaughter in the 2012 death of Boyd.

Cross’ testimony about how he waved the cellphone was one of several statements Servin’s attorney Darren O’Brien claimed contradicted sworn statements Cross made to investigators and during a deposition.

“Some of it could have been right, and some not all the way right,” said Cross, who claimed he was nervous and on medication when he talked to investigators from the Chicago Police Department and Police Independent Review Authority.

Cross, 42, testified that after a day of partying, which included at least three cups of tequila and hits from numerous blunts, he and friend Mantise Stevenson left Douglas Park to go buy liquor, cigarettes and snacks at a nearby store.

Cross said by the time he got to 15th and Albany, Rekia Boyd and Ikca “Honey” Beamon joined them for the walk to the liquor store. Cross said he was talking to his cousin on his cellphone when a black Mercedes-Benz pulled out of an alley near the group.

Cross testified he believed the driver, Servin, was looking to buy drugs because he was white.

“Get your crackhead ass out of here,” Cross testified he said as he motioned with his cellphone over his shoulder from about five feet away.

That is when, Cross said, Servin opened fire, striking him in the right hand and Boyd in the head.

After he was shot, Cross said he ran west on 15th Place toward Kedzie. Chicago Police forensic investigator Carl Brasic later testified to finding a blood trail from the scene toward Kedzie.

Cross said he flagged down a marked Chicago Police car and told the officers that “a white man” shot him.

The officers and Cross returned to the scene, where Cross said he asked Servin, “If you the police, why the f— did you shoot me?”

Cross said Servin responded, “I thought your phone was a f—– weapon.”

But Servin’s attorneys had said Cross reached into his waistband, pretending he had a weapon, and charged toward the officer.

Mount Sinai Hospital employee Shurecca Baymon testified that Beamon told her at the hospital that Cross reached into his pocket “just trying to spook him.”

During cross-examination, defense attorney O’Brien noted Cross contradicted what he initially told investigators about when he was on the phone with his cousin, if he waved his phone and the number of shots fired.

Cross denied portions of his testimony from a civil deposition and meetings with the state’s attorney’s office, Chicago Police detectives and the Independent Police Review Authority when O’Brien re-read quotes from the transcripts.

Cross has been convicted of possession of burglary tools and was initially charged with aggravated assault after the shooting when he was found to have a pocket knife. The charges were later dropped.

Cross’ cousin, Leo Coleman, testified that he was on the phone with Cross when the shooting happened. Coleman said he heard eight to 14 shots both through the phone and from where he was in Douglas Park.

The forensic investigator later testified he found only five shell casings at the scene, and the rest of the bullets from the gun were still in the chamber or magazine.

Like Cross, Coleman denied statements the defense read from transcripts of his previous testimony.

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