Jurors to mull charges against 2 in 2013 activist DJ slaying
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — Jurors begin deliberating Monday in the trial of two men charged with killing a popular disc jockey in a drive-by shooting outside a northeastern Pennsylvania bar five years ago.
Roberto Battle, 29, and 37-year-old David Nealy, 37, are accused of opening fire from a car outside Wilkes-Barre’s now-closed Outsiders Bar in 2013 after they were kicked out of the bar earlier in the night.
Authorities said shots were fired into a crowd outside the bar, killing Michael Onley, who performed as DJ Mo and had rallied against gun violence; his only brother died as a bystander in an unrelated South Carolina shooting in 2012.
Nealy took the stand Friday in Luzerne County Court against the advice of his attorney and said he wasn’t aware that Battle would open fire. He said he had music blasting and faintly heard gunshots, but he thought his car was being fired upon and fled.
The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens’ Voice reports that Assistant District Attorney Jarrett Ferentino ridiculed the idea that Nealy could be unaware the shots were coming from his car, saying the defendant was “right next to the gun.”
Nealy said Battle admitted to having fired seconds later but said he aimed into the air. He said he only learned at a house partly later that evening about the shooting of Onley, with whom he had been friendly and who he had hired to play at his daughter’s birthday party.
Battle’s attorney, Allyson Kacmarski, pointed the finger at a mutual acquaintance whose gun was used in the shooting.
After the prosecution rested, Nealy’s attorney said he had advised against his client testifying. Nealy struggled with the decision for several minutes, ultimately explaining why he decided to speak.
“I have to speak my peace. I have to give DJ Mo’s family closure. I can’t keep this burden weighing me down,” Nealy said.