CINCINNATI – Kelsie Crow’s mother sobbed and cried out in anguish Friday as she testified about the night her 17-year-old daughter was shot to death outside a Sweet 16 party.
“When Kelsie left the house that night, I told her what I always told her: ‘Be aware of your surroundings, Kelsie. Not everyone means you well. Make good choices,’ " Susan Segrist said as her eyes filled with tears.
Later, Segrist said, she got the phone call, and her whole world came apart.
"There's been a shooting and you should go to the hospital," she recalled hearing.
Segrist couldn’t hold back her tears as she talked about her final moments with her daughter.
"I held her hand and I reassured her that we were here, and that we loved her. And that I was sorry that this had happened to her and I couldn't keep her safe," Segrist cried.
Cries from her family and friends filled the courtroom.
A friend of Crow who was a passenger in her SUV testified about getting caught in a hail of bullets.
Prosecutors say Crow was shot as she drove away from the party and gang members opened fire on each other outside the Melrose YMCA in Walnut Hills two years ago. As many as 60 shots were fired from four or five guns, according to police.
Two people who were wounded testified that dozens of teens ran in fear to escape the gunfire.
Rico Mosley, 19, is on trial for murder, but Mosley’s attorney claims police don’t know who fired the fatal shot and there’s no evidence it was Mosley.
The day began with a disturbing announcement from Judge Patrick Foley III. The judge said he was aware that threats had been made against some witnesses. Foley said wouldn’t tolerate any attempts to intimidate them.
Segrist was first on the witness stand Friday and she talked about her daughter’s dreams. Crow was an honor student at Purcell Marian High School and a soccer goalie.
"She wanted to learn sign language. Her goal was to grow to be a nurse that knew sign language," Segrist said.
Segrist said she didn’t want her daughter to go to the party but she relented.
"She asked permission to go to the party. I asked her to stay home and watch the NCAA [basketball] game," Segrist said.
“I allowed her to go. She told me she was going to pick up friends."
After a few hours, Segrist said, she tried calling Crow but her calls went to voice mail. She texted her, but Crow didn't text back.
Prince Jefferson, a junior at Purcell Marian like Crow, testified that he arrived at the party with Crow and left with her.
"I knew her since freshmen year. We did everything together,” Jefferson said. “We went to B-dubs, parties. She was one of my best friends."
Jefferson said when they got in Crow’s SUV to leave they didn’t go right away.
“We sat there and tried charging our phones for a good few minutes so we could get one on," he said.
There was a crowd outside the Y and across the street, he said.
"There's a group of people in front of her car. People across the street, too. There was arguing going on," Jefferson said.
“Kelsie pulls out. I didn't know what was going. The glass shattered.
“She was just slumped over the wheel,” Jefferson said. “I was trying to shake her. I didn't know if she had got stunned or got hit.”
Crow didn’t respond, he said.
“When she got hit by the bullet, she went out. There wasn't a second when she was yelling or suffering. She literally went out," Jefferson said.
One of the two persons wounded, Deontre Edwards, came to court wearing gray prison stripes. He’s serving time on an escape charge after being convicted of carrying a concealed weapon.
"It wasn't my first time being shot," said Edwards. “My arm went numb. I jumped into a car."
Edwards said a lot of guns went off and people ran to escape the gunfire. Surveillance cameras caught a stampede of teens running across the parking lot.
The other victim, who was 15, said she ran and was shot in the back.
The trial will continue Monday.