As a crowd gathered on Myrtle Beach’s Warren Street to celebrate two birthdays, Calvin Ford left a home and confronted a previous foe.
“Within five minutes of Calvin Ford showing up, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, six shots,” said Senior Assistant Solicitor Josh Holford, clapping his hand with each “boom.”
On that July 2016 day, Jamal Burgess was shot once and Dameion Alston was shot three times, Holford said. Alston was nothing more than a bystander caught in the crossfire. The two victims went to the nearby fire station and later died.
Ford and Aliga Campbell are both charged with two counts of murder in connection to the killings. They are on trial in Horry County this week and face life in prison if convicted. Lawyers gave their opening statements to the jury on Tuesday.
Holford said Campbell got into an argument with Burgess at the gathering while Ford was in a residence. Ford left and went up to the group in the street when the shooting happened.
Ford admitted to shooting Burgess during a stand-your-ground hearing, Holford said.
Burgess had been out of prison for less than a week when he was killed, Holford said, but he didn’t deserve to die.
“When you fire multiple rounds when there is a crowd of people, someone is going to die. And that is exactly what happened in this case,” Holford said.
Campbell’s defense attorney Eric Fox said there is no case against his client. He added the only reason the state charged Campbell was so the prosecutors could explain why police found a different caliber bullet from the ones Ford fired.
“They are not together. They did not act together, whatever happened,” Fox said. “The evidence in this case is non-existent against Mr. Campbell.”
Ford’s attorney Johnny McCoy said the shooting wasn’t revenge. Four years before the shooting, Burgess assaulted Ford and knocked out his front teeth, McCoy said. Burgess also made threats while in prison about wanting to kill Ford.
Ford claims the shooting was in self-defense.
“Of course he is going to fear for his life when something is going down,” McCoy said of Ford.