Two key witnesses testify in Michael Ishman murder trial

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Two witnesses are shedding light on the moments leading up to a deadly shooting in Lawton.

Tuesday, two people testified in the murder trial for Michael Ishman, accused of killing Eric Buckner in October 2016. Those witnesses said that Eric Buckner's death happened because he would not tell Michael Ishman where one of his friends was.

One of those witnesses, Brandon Truwell, said he knew Ishman from Tulsa. He testified that he rode from Tulsa to Lawton with Ishman the day before Buckner was murdered. Truwell said past dealings with Ishman made him feel threatened and afraid for his life. He said the day after they arrived in Lawton, he convinced Ishman and another woman, DiMarie Castaneda, to go to a casino.

Truwell testified that when he got to the casino, he sought out security and asked them to call the police. He said he told the police he feared for his life and they helped him leave the casino and get away from Ishman.

Prosecutors allege that Ishman ultimately killed Buckner that night because he would not tell them where Truwell was. That allegation is based on testimony from Castaneda, who claims she was in the apartment where Buckner was killed.

Castaneda testified that she was Ishman's ex-girlfriend and said she also came from Tulsa to Lawton with Ishman and Truwell. She said when she, Ishman and Truwell got to the casino, Truwell disappeared, which made Ishman mad. She said she and Ishman left the casino and went to the Pear Tree Apartments, where they ran into Eric Buckner.

Castaneda testified that she and Ishman went into Buckner's apartment to buy marijuana from him. That's when she said Ishman pulled out a gun and began asking where Truwell was.

Castaneda said Ishman robbed Buckner and another man who was in the apartment and as she was turning to leave, she heard gunshots. She said she turned around and saw Buckner fall to the ground so she ran out the door. Castaneda also testified that she and Ishman had smoked meth together 5 or 6 times that day and in cross-examination, she said she never called police about the murder.

Jurors also heard testimony from the lead crime scene investigator and lead detective for the case. The detective said that during his investigation, he learned that Buckner was a member of a gang and was a drug dealer.

Jurors also learned there was another man, Charles Tucker, who they say witnessed the murder, though he will not be testifying. Tucker is currently in the Comanche County Jail on contempt charges. Detectives said he is refusing to testify because he is scared. Testimony will continue Wednesday at 9 a.m.

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