The boyfriend of a nursing student who was shot and killed during an AirPods sale on UAB’s campus more than a year ago spoke publicly for the first time on Tuesday, recounting the events of that December night that killed 20-year-old Destiny Washington.
The transaction, which took place in the student center parking lot at University Boulevard and 14th Street, went awry amid accusations of counterfeit money and fake AirPods, and ended with a fatal shot being fired by Carlos Londonrius Stephens, 24 years old.
Moultrie, who started dating Washington in 10th grade, said he heard a gunshot as the couple ran away. That’s when Washington said, “Baby, I think I got shot.”
Moultrie replied, “Don’t tell me that.”
He realized, however, that she was right. He said he could tell because he saw blood and “she stopped responding to me”.
Moultrie said he then started yelling and screaming and asking passers-by to get to the nearest emergency room. He ended up at Children’s of Alabama where he got Washington out of the vehicle while he waited for help.
“I was telling him to fight,” Moultrie said, but it was too late. Washington was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Moultrie’s testimony came on the first day of the capital murder trial against Stephens.
Stephens is represented by attorneys Emory Anthony and Bobby Lendell Davis.
Jefferson County Assistant District Attorneys Jessica Hebson and Ashley Patterson are prosecuting the case.
Circuit Judge Kechia Davis is presiding over the trial.
The fatal shooting occurred at 9:40 p.m. on Thursday, December 17, 2020, in the parking lot of the student center.
Stephens, a former standout football player at Thompson High School who later played UAB in his freshman year, turned himself in to police two days later.
He has remained in the Jefferson County Jail without bail since December 21, 2020.
Prosecutors argue Stephens should be convicted of capital murder in Washington’s death, calling it a senseless, unreasonable and unnecessary act of violence.
Stephens’ attorneys, however, say their client was fired in self-defense only after Washington’s boyfriend pointed a gun at him and threatened to “blow him up”.
In opening statements for the trial, prosecutor Hebson explained to jurors the events of that night, saying Moultrie bought several sets of AirPods wholesale to sell for a profit as he and Washington tried to obtain extra money to send during the holidays.
Washington and Moultrie worked multiple jobs and even made Door Dash deliveries every night after work.
Moultrie, Hebson said, advertised the AirPods on Facebook Marketplace, an ad that Stephens’ girlfriend, Victoria Roberts, responded to on Thursday evening.
They arranged to meet at the UAB student center for Roberts to purchase the AirPods for $90.
When Moultrie arrived at the appointed location, however, it was Stephens who was waiting for Moultrie and Washington, not Roberts.
The two spoke briefly, then Stephens handed Moultrie a $100 bill and took the AirPods, asking Moultrie if they were real or counterfeit from China.
Hebson said Moultrie had a handgun in his jacket pocket, a gun that was registered and for which he had a license.
She said Moultrie believed the $100 was a fake. He threw it in Stephens’ car and “snatched” the AirPods out of Stephens’ hands.
“Mr. Moultrie saw Mr. Stephens lean over to get a gun,” the prosecutor said. “As Mr. Stephens reached, Mr. Moultrie began to back out of the car with his hand on his pocket where he was found his gun.”
She said Moultrie got into his car and as he drove away Stephens leaned out the window and fired a single shot.
She said Moultrie had tried to get help from Washington, but to no avail.
“She was a young, strong, healthy woman, but nothing could be done,” Hebson said, “because the bullet that was fired was a legend .350 – a hunting bullet – and it went through the license plate, straight on, the passenger eats and straight into Destiny Washington’s back.
Anthony, however, painted a picture of a different chain of events that night.
He said Moultrie asked for the deal in Irondale, where he and Washington shared an apartment, and it was Stephens who asked to meet at UAB where he knew there were security cameras everywhere. “in case something happens”.
Stephens, the attorney said, arrived 30 minutes before the meeting time and waited for Moultrie to come. He agreed there had been a little chat, during which Stephens asked Moultrie if he knew him from somewhere and if he had played football.
“My client was just nice and kind to Mr. Moultrie,” Anthony said.
Stephens, who was still on the cellphone with his girlfriend, looked at the AirPods and asked Moultrie if they were real, to which Moultrie replied that they were real. Moultrie then raised the price from $90 to $100, Anthony said.
Anthony said there was no evidence that the $100 Stephens gave Moultrie was forgeries.
“I believe it’s something Mr. Moultrie made up,” Anthony said. “The proof will be after my client told him he was only going to pay $90 and that he believed (the AirPods) were fake, Mr. Moultrie gets upset. Mr. Moultrie ripped the AirPods out of (Stephens’ hands) and punched him in the stomach.
Moultrie, at that moment, drew his weapon. He had previously told detectives that his gun was in his jacket pocket the entire time.
“How do we know that?” said Anthony. “After two years he (Moultrie) finally told (Birmingham Police Detective Kristopher Hatcher) on March 21, 2022. When he spoke to (Detective) on December 18, 2020 he said nothing about the firing his weapon. outside.”
“They waited almost two years to speak with Mr. Moultrie and he said he pulled out the gun and was backing away with the gun,” Anthony said. “Mr. Moultrie, not my client, is the first person to pull out a gun. Mr. Moultrie was upset and he said to my client, ‘I’m going to blow you away.’
“My client never pointed a gun at this man until he pulled a gun,” Anthony said. “We have recorded Mr. Moultrie’s statement. He knew he was the cause. He was the one who pulled out the gun and started this.
“They told the world my client shot the young lady over some Airpods because Moultrie lied about what happened there,” Anthony said. “Once he was in his car, Moultrie backed his car and pointed the gun. My client had a gun and at this point my client, fearing that Moultrie might shoot, fired his gun. And this young woman was killed. But he only fired in self-defense.
“I want you all to hear the truth for the first time,” Anthony said. “Who is telling the truth in this matter? Credibility is more important than anything. Mr. Moultrie lied on December 18, 2020, lied for almost two years until they called him back and he finally admitted to pointing a gun at my client.
“My client,” Anthony said, “has a right to defend himself.”
Further testimony on Tuesday showed the gun that killed Washington was never found and detectives couldn’t test Stephens’ car because it was a rental that was returned to Enterprise the day after the fatal shooting and had already been cleared by the time detectives arrived. in the car rental business.
The detective testified that Moultrie did not tell him during their initial interview that he had drawn his gun, but said he admitted to having done so when questioning him again a few weeks ago .
Moultrie, in his testimony, said he believed the $100 was fake because there were “Chinese letters” on the bill. He said he pulled out his gun but kept it by his side as he backed up to his car.
Moultrie said he believed Stephens was looking for his gun. “I felt like my life was in danger,” Moultrie said.
Testimony will continue on Wednesday.