Testimony expected today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 12, 2000

in 1998 Stringer murder case


Staff Writer

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Sept. 11, 2000 10 PM

Testimony in the trial of Deiallo Teron Stringer will begin today.

Stringer will stand trial for the shooting death of Troy State University student Komommo Oju Offem, 18, of Tuskegee.

The March 6, 1998 shooting occurred outside E.T.’s Lounge on U.S. 231 South between Troy and Brundidge.

Stringer was taken into custody later that Friday afternoon.

At approximately 1:44 a.m., Troy police responded to a call of "shots fired" and, upon arrival at the scene, found Offem lying on the ground with a shot to the head.

The case was briefly described to potential jurors Monday morning.

Assistant District Attorney Larry Jarrell said the case involved a group of Troy State students who were asked to leave the club following an altercation.

Defense attorney Randy Arnold painted a slightly different picture of the incident.

He said Stringer, who was not enrolled at TSU at the time of the incident, had joined some others at the lounge, like they did "every Thursday night."

As part of the weekly "ritual," the students would fire pistols into the air when leaving the lounge, Arnold said.

He said officers had no knowledge as to exactly how many guns were fired that night because the others involved "scattered like roaches."

According to reports just after the incident, two handguns were recovered from the scene. At that time, police would not release information about how many people might have been involved or what instigated the altercation.

At the time of his death, Offem was a second-quarter freshman majoring in accounting.

When Stringer was arrested, he was 23 years old and lived at 600 Farmer Street in Troy. He was initially charged with attempted murder because Offem did not die immediately.

Offem died at Flowers Hospital in Dothan that weekend after being removed from life support.

A Pike County Grand Jury indicted Stringer in 1998 on two counts including "intentionally killing an individual by shooting" him with a pistol and "reckless murder."

The case is being tried in the ongoing session of the Pike County Circuit Court which began Monday. Several cases resulted in pleas today. Sunday, a list of conclued cases will appear in The Messenger.