Testimony underway in Birdell Beeks murder trial

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Testimony is underway in the murder trial for Joshua Ezeka, the man who is accused of shooting and killing 56-year-old Birdell Beeks in May of 2016. 

Beeks was a beloved grandmother shot while driving her minivan with her 16-year-old granddaughter next to her. 

The case isn’t about whether Ezeka fired the shot that hit Beeks, but rather his intent. 

The prosecution alleges Ezeka planned to shoot and kill a rival gang member that day. Even though it was Beeks and not the apparent gang member who was shot, it would still count as premeditated, if found guilty.

The defense though says he only ran out there to scare that rival gang member, fearing he was about to shoot up his family’s house.

Ezeka was twenty years old when this happened in 2016, but Beeks’ daughter, Sa’Lesha Beeks, says she believes he was old enough to make the right choices.

"If he had a hard life and that was the case, but like I say, there are choices, and there are choices he made that could have been better for himself," said Sa’Lesha Beeks.

Among those giving testimony Tuesday for the state included experts, police, and Beeks’ daughter and granddaughter. 

Ezeka’s parents also took the stand, both denying their son had any gang affiliation or that he owned a gun that worked.  

The case will continue on Thursday because a juror needs to attend a funeral on Wednesday. For now, Ezeka remains in custody at Hennepin County Jail.