Witnesses suddenly silent in murder of NFL draft prospect's father

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Fear and football dominate the case of a murder outside a Fresno American Legion post. (KFSN)

Fear and football dominate the case of a murder outside a Fresno American Legion post.

A week before the NFL draft, witnesses have suddenly gone silent in the case of a murder that's close to home for one of Fresno's top football prospects.

Deontay Greenberry's final college football season ended in glory. The Washington Union product corralled two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to cap a 25-point comeback for the University of Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl on Jan. 2, 2015. His season began with much more difficulty, but it had nothing to do with his play on the field. Half a continent away from Houston, on a street in Southwest Fresno, Greenberry's father was shot and killed just days before the son started his season.

"He didn't say nothing to me," said Fred Gray, a witness to the shooting. "He just started going down."

Police say witnesses described seeing Leonard Greenberry running away from the American Legion post where he'd been celebrating his second wife's birthday. They say Michael Johnson fired six shots, killing Leonard Greenberry and injuring another man. But in court Tuesday, one of those witnesses had a different story about who the aggressor was.

"Leonard and his friend ran along the sidewalk, ran away?" prosecutor Noelle Pebet said. "Do you remember saying that?"

"Not ran away," said Gray. "I never said that."

We're not allowed to show the witnesses' faces, but this one now says Johnson was back pedaling when the gunshots rang out. Another witness said she forgot everything that happened that night last August, telling prosecutors she felt fearful about saying anything.

"Did you or did you not say earlier today that if you were to testify, it'd be your body that we were investigating next?" Pebet asked Raynesha Dimery.

"Yep," said Dimery.

"So you did say that?" Pebet reinforced.

"Yes," Dimery said.

"And why would you say that?" Pebet asked. "Why would you be concerned about somebody hurting you."

"Because you and your investigators are trying to make me be a snitch and I'm not a snitch," Dimery said.

A judge will decide Wednesday whether there's enough evidence for Johnson to stand trial for Leonard Greenberry's murder.



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