(FOX 2) - A man charged with fatally shooting a 3-year-old boy on Southfield Freeway appeared in court Wednesday, as a woman who was in the car with the suspect explained what happened.
Derrick Durham, 24, is facing one count of open murder and discharge of a gun from a car causing death, among other felony charges, in the fatal shooting of 3-year-old CJ Miller.
Around 7:30 p.m. January 24, the suspect was at a light before the on-ramp of the Southfield Freeway, a source told FOX 2. Behind the suspect's car was the victim's car, driven by the Godmother of Christian "CJ" Miller, who was taking the boy to Sesame Street Live.
FOX 2 was told the light changed and the suspect didn't move. The woman honked her horn and he still didn't move, but then he began moving very slowly on purpose. The Godmother accelerated and eventually passed him and got around his vehicle before getting on the freeway.
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According to the source, the suspect got angry at the woman for passing his vehicle and then sped up to follow her. He eventually pulled up next to her on the driver's side and pulled a gun that he shot into her car. CJ was hit between the shoulder blades with the bullet. He died the next day at the hospital.
During Wednesday's preliminary hearing, a woman who said she was in the car with Durham during the incident testified, granted immunity from prosecutors as long as she testified truthfully.
She said on that fateful day, she was riding in the passenger seat of her car, a silver Mercedes, while Durham drove. Behind them was a silver Dodge Journey, and when they didn't pull off right away, the driver held on her horn. She said that driver attempted to pass them and almost hit the passenger side. That's when she said Durham told her to lean back.
"I just thought they were about to argue, or flick each other off or something," she said. "I just did what he told me to do."
She said she rolled her seat all the way back, as Durham told her that female driver "did too much." She said she saw him grab a metallic gray handgun from his waist, and saw a flash and a loud noise. It was hot, she said, so he put in the cup holder. She said the driver started braking and pulled over on the side of the road, as they sped off.
On January 26, they went to a detail shop on Tireman Road to clean it out and look for a bullet shell, she testified. She said the car had damage from being rear ended and key marks on the side, so they went to a body shop. They discussed changing the appearance of the car, maybe getting it painted, she said.
A man who works at the car wash was called up to testify in the case, but after answering a few questions, the judge reminded him lying on the stand, or perjury, is a punishable offense. He was then assigned an attorney to advise him on his testimony and dismissed from the stand.
FOX 2's source said the suspect said he didn't know a kid was in the car and initially tried to claim he spotted an object in the woman's hand.