Murder trial begins for suspect accused of killing teen at Zodiac Park

Trial underway in murder of teen at Memphis park

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Three years after a 16-year-old girl was murdered in a Memphis park, her accused killer is facing a jury.

Testimony began Tuesday in the murder trial for Marcus Malone, accused of killing 16-year-old Alana Tello in 2016 at Zodiac Park.

Prosecutors say the shooting was the result of a dispute over a cellphone, which started at a Halloween party the night before.

It was a difficult day of testimony for Tello’s family as the first witness in the trial shared the 16-year-old’s final moments.

“I grabbed her hand and we are running away, and next thing I hear is someone yelling ‘duck’ and shots were fired,” said Taylor Bumpous, a friend of Tello’s.

Police say seven other people were injured in the shooting Nov. 1, 2016. Prosecutors say Malone fired 17 shots, hitting the victims in the back.

Prosecutors say Malone gave police a signed confession that night, admitting to killing Tello.

“This scared 17-year-old boy said ‘you know what, I did it. I want to go home. I did it’,” said Elbert Edwards, Malone’s defense attorney.

Bumpous told the jury both shooters covered their faces with bandannas, allowing her to only see their eyes. Still, she couldn’t identify Malone as the shooter.

Malone now faces 30 criminal counts, from murder to attempted murder, for his alleged role in the shooting that night.

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