GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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June 14, 2012

Woman recalls fatal shooting of boyfriend

Begged 'please don't shoot' before he was shot

LAWRENCE — LAWRENCE – “Please, my boyfriend has been shot,” Amanda Foxworth screamed at the 911 dispatcher. “He’s shot in the head ... They broke into my apartment  ...I don’t know how they got in ... I think he’s already dead ... Oh my God,” Foxworth continued yelling. Jurors yesterday heard Foxworth’s frantic 911 call from the morning of May 22, 2009 when Dennis Colon, 22, and another unidentified man, allegedly broke into her 147 Weare St. apartment, shooting Juan Caba, 23, in the head. The same bullet then hit Foxworth in the chin, shattering her jaw.  

Colon is on trial in Lawrence Superior Court for murder, burglary and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He faces life in prison if convicted. Caba sold marijuana illegally and Colon and his accomplice are accused of breaking into the apartment to rob him of his supply of marijuana and cash.

But his defense attorney Russell Sobelman said there’s more to this story and others, including Foxworth herself, may be responsible for Caba’s murder.

Jurors yesterday heard Foxworth’s 911 call and viewed crime scene photographs, including the blood-covered bed where the couple was shot, and an emergency room photograph of Caba with his head covered in blood and on life-support.

Foxworth, 24, who now lives in Pelham, broke down in tears, sobbed and had trouble standing as the 911 tape was played. A court officer brought her Kleenex and water and Judge Richard Welch gave her several minutes to regain her composure after the tape was played.

Under questioning by prosecutor Michael Patten, Foxworth recounted that morning, when she was awakened around 4:40 a.m. to find two men standing next to the couple’s bed. Caba was closest to the intruders.

“I saw the men standing next to the bed with guns pointed at Juan and I,” Foxworth said.

She started screaming “please don’t shoot, please don’t shoot,” she said, as Caba started waving his hands. A shot was fired, the bullet hitting Caba, going through him, and then hitting the right side of her chin, she said.

The intruders fled immediately. Scared and in shock, Foxworth said she checked Caba’s pulse, applied pressure to his head wound with towels and dialed 911. She also admitted to retrieving marijuana from a dresser drawer and hiding it in a closet before police arrived.

“I was scared, afraid to get into trouble,” said Foxworth, adding she was hysterical and panicked and not thinking too straight.

Under cross examination, Sobelman pointed to inconsistencies in Foxworth’s previous accounts to police and what she said on the stand. He also asked her about a clerk named Eric at an area liquor store she visited daily. Foxworth denied ever kissing Eric outside the store, but in a state police interview she told a trooper she did kiss him. An audiotape of the state police interview was played for the jurors yesterday.

Foxworth, answering Sobelman’s questions, also denied she wanted “out of the relationship” with Caba so she could pursue a career in criminal justice. Foxworth obtained an associates degree in criminal justice and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree, she said earlier in court yesterday.

“The only way out was you had to kill him, right?” Sobelman asked.

“No,” Foxworth answered.

Patten, on redirect, showed jurors pictures of Caba and Foxworth embracing and kissing. Although they occasionally argued, Foxworth said the images captured the happiness they shared at the time of shooting. The two started dating in November 2006.

Caba, who was legally blind and often wore sunglasses, was able to dress, bath and cook for himself using a microwave. As his primary caregiver, Foxworth said she would pick out his clothes, cook for him on the gas stove in their apartment, help him on stairs and drive him places, including to meet his drug clients.

She started a new relationship two years after Caba was killed, she said.

After she was shot, Foxworth was taken to Lawrence General Hospital and later transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. An incision was made under her chin to remove the bullet, she said.

Two metal plates now permanently hold together her jaw, which was broken, and all four of her wisdom teeth were removed. She said she “cannot chew meat the way a normal adult would chew meat” and “has a hard time biting into foods as simple as pizza.”

After the shooting, Foxworth moved in with her mother. She never stepped foot back in the Weare Street apartment again, she said.

Convicted in a separate armed robbery case, Colon is already serving a five-year state prison sentence.

The murder trial started Tuesday and is expected to run into next week.

 

Follow Staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.

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