COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Riccardo Kirven, 33, is facing first-degree murder in the July 17, 2015 shooting of 14-year-old Desmond Smith.
Kirven opened fire on Smith and two other teenagers at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs, after a dispute over Raymond Rogan Jr.'s missing cell phone. Rogan is Kirven's nephew.
Trial began Wednesday and several family members from both sides were present in the courtroom.
Opening statements began with prosecutors pleading their case.
"The defendant shot a 14-year-old child in the back as he was running away, because he thought he was stealing a cell phone," prosecutors told the jury.
Prosecutors went on to say that on July 17, 2015, Smith and his two friends went to Memorial Park late at night to meet up with two of their girl friends. Those friends brought along two other friends which included Rogan.
Later that evening, Rogan thought he lost his cell phone and that Smith and his friends had taken it. After searching the park and having Smith and his friends empty their pockets, no phone was found.
Smith and his two friends left to get drinks at a nearby 7-Eleven.
Rogan left to get his uncle, Kirven to help. Rogan testified in court he had to convince Kirven to come to the park and help.
The two later returned, drove by the park and prosecutors say Kirven fired several shots at the teens, killing Smith.
"Raymond and the defendant go back to the park and start shooting the 14-year-old child. He fired a bullet straight through Desmond's back," prosecutors said.
Defense attorneys then gave their opening statements.
"Riccardo thought that all the people in the car were about to be fired upon by one of the two people with Desmond Smith. Kirven was defending himself and the other people in the car with him," defense attorney's said.
Attorneys said Riccardo didn’t know the victim or his age.
"One of the guys put his hand under the shirt like he had a gun. At the conclusion of this evidence, we're going to ask you to find him not guilty because he was defending himself," defense attorneys said.
The first witness people called to the stand was Desmond's father, Brian Smith.
"He was a wonderful young man, playful, he enjoyed sports, all around athlete. He had just graduated 8th grade and was getting ready to go to Mitchell High School," Brian said.
Brian went on to describe the morning he found out what had happened to his son.
"Saturday morning around 6 o’clock, a Sergeant came knocking on my door. The detective had my son’s school ID and positively identified Desmond and gave me the rundown of what happened," he said.
The second witness called, Sgt. Mary Walsh with the Colorado Springs Police department.
"I was dispatched to Memorial Park for a shooting around 2 a.m. We were told it was by the skate park and I saw a teenage male laying in the grass very close to the intersection. It was a very young looking teenage male, wearing a blue shirt with blood, he wasn’t moving. I ran over to check for a pulse and performed CPR until the ambulance arrived," Walsh said.
During Rogan's testimony he said he didn't know Kirven had brought a gun to the park and claims he told his uncle to stop shooting.
Rogan pleaded guilty in July 2016 to accessory to murder and attempted child abuse resulting in death. He is serving a six-year sentence in the Youthful Offender System in Pueblo.
Raymond Rogan Sr., 37, who is Rogan's father, is accused of getting rid of shell casings after the shooting. His trial is scheduled for October.
Court resumes Thursday morning.