Lehigh Valley

Guilty on all counts for Dekota Baptiste in Palmer Township shooting

A jury says he killed Terrance Ferguson.

EASTON, Pa. - A jury has found Dekota Baptiste, 26, guilty of first-degree murder for the shooting and killing of Terrance Ferguson, 36, in a Palmer Township parking lot in 2017.

It took the jury around 2 and a half hours to reach the verdict.

When Baptiste walked into the courtroom he looked at the crowd of people supporting him and softly said “yikes.”

Moments later, the jury foreman announced guilty of all charges including first-degree murder.

His mother cried out, and nearly fell over.

Baptiste looked over at her and said, “Mom, Mom, Mom,” and told his supporters, “yo, yo, yo, I’ll be alright.”

Baptiste now faces a second trial, which will determine if he qualifies for the death penalty.

That will start Monday.

Baptiste testified Friday that he acted in self-defense, believing that Terrance Ferguson was trying to run him down with his car in that AutoZone parking lot.

The jury didn’t buy it.

Investigators said the two had an issue over Thressa Duarte who was in the car at the time Ferguson was shot.

Duarte was expected to testify, but on the first day she was emotionally distraught on the stand, and soon disappeared.

However, at the last minute on Friday, a witness came forward who said he witnessed Baptiste come up to the car and confront Ferguson about the woman before the shooting.

That man testified that it did not appear that Ferguson was trying to run Baptiste over, but that Ferguson was trying to get away.

Defense attorneys had no comment after the verdict was read.

Now, on Monday, the same jury will decide if Baptiste should get life in prison or the death penalty.


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