Testimony continues in “drug deal gone bad" murder trial

Testimony continues in “drug deal gone bad" murder trial

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The murder trial of Shermon Valentine Ranson continued Wednesday morning in Midland County's 142nd District Court with testimony from Midland Police Detective Joe Rogers, an investigator familiar with the scene of the deadly 2014 shooting.

Ranson, 40, drove two juveniles to an apartment complex in the 500 block of West Cowden Avenue on May 15, 2014, according to an arrest affidavit.

He handed a gun to one of them, an unidentified then 14-year-old, and directed the boy to enter the courtyard and shoot into an apartment as retaliation for a "drug deal gone bad," investigators said.

The teen fired multiple shots through the front door of the residence, arrest affidavits state.

At least one bullet struck Alfer Lee Hemphill, 53, who later died from his injuries at Midland Memorial Hospital.

Officials said the 14-year-old shooter exited the complex through a back gate and ran to Ranson's waiting "getaway vehicle."

The two were later arrested and charged in Hemphill's death; the third occupant of the vehicle faced no charges.

Ranson's murder trial began March 21, nearly two years after the shooting, and could continue for "several more days," defense attorney Woody Leverett said Wednesday.

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