JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Opening statements began Tuesday morning in the trial of a woman charged with shooting and killing a teenager in 2020.
According to police, Shaetavia Cooper shot 16-year-old Teneria McClendon during an argument outside of Wawa on 103rd Street.
Ten witnesses on the state’s side took the stand Tuesday: Teneria’s mother, younger sister, cousin, a friend, members of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and a man who rendered aid to the victim.
Store surveillance video was displayed multiple times throughout Tuesday’s trial.
The state argues that Cooper took a verbal argument too far and added that McClendon was unarmed.
The defense is claiming Cooper acted in self-defense, saying Cooper was in fear.
Teneria’s mother, Sharonica Eady, was one witness for the prosecution who took the stand.
“I’m standing there with my arms out like they’re teenagers….they’re teenagers. She shot her like she was nothing,” Eady said.
Eady was with multiple other teenage girls that night, including her daughters.
“I just heard something drop, and I turned around and she just dropped to the ground,” Eady said.
Cooper was present in the courtroom Tuesday.
“Shaetavia Cooper acted in self defense,” Cooper’s defense attorney said. “She had a license permitted firearm. She was never the aggressor. She was spit upon and charged at in the store.”
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The defense argued that six strangers followed Cooper to her car after the argument, also bringing up Eady holding her daughter back.
Body camera footage from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office presented Tuesday in court shows Cooper saying: “I should’ve walked away from the situation.”
Cooper has been charged with second-degree murder.
The trial will pick back up Wednesday morning.