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Victim Testifies In 18-Year-Old Fatal Home Invasion

By Stephanie Lucero, CBS 11 News
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(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Nearly 20 years after her grandmother was murdered, Melania Tyler, now 30-years-old, testified Tuesday about the night two masked men stormed into her home and shot and injured her and her two younger brothers before killing her grandmother.

Clarence Bailey, 40, is on trial for Capital Murder.

In 2007, Dedrick Jones was convicted in connection with the murder of 79-year-old Elma Mae Adkins. On Tuesday, the jury heard a 911 call recorded in the moments after the home invasion.

Tyler, who was 12 at the time, was playing with her two hampsters on the floor when the men stormed into her home in the 3400 block of Latham Drive in Garland.

Tyler said her grandmother put her hands in the air, then a man “shot over at her, and once at me.” She then said she heard “four or five” shots coming from the back bedroom where her brothers were. Tyler’s grandmother was killed by a shot to her head. Tyler was shot in the shoulder.

She and her siblings, who were 8 and 9 at the time, survived the attack. After the shooting, Tyler said she played dead and waited for the men to leave before locking her brothers in the bathroom.

“I was trying to keep them safe the best I could,” she told the court. “I was just scared out of my mind.”

Assistant District Attorney Brandon Birmingham said he will present testimony about the motive for the home invasion, but a Garland detective accidentally destroyed all of the evidence collected at the scene in 1992.

Prosecutors say it was a clerical mistake, an inadvertent action that erased any chance of using fingerprints dusted at the scene as evidence or having something in the home tested for DNA.

However, prosecutors note that Jones was convicted in 2007 without the physical evidence. The trial continues Wednesday.

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