Openings Finished In Trial of Man Accused of Killing 9-Year-Old Girl

Opening statements got underway Thursday at the trial of a man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend's 9-year-old daughter in a shooting in Davie.

Jody Gordon, 45, is facing one count of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted second-degree murder in the September 2010 shooting death of Mayia Nelson. Gordon has pleaded not guilty.

Gordon had allegedly been arguing with ex-girlfriend Shawana Newson as she sat in a minivan full of children outside an apartment building on the 7300 block of Stirling Road, authorities said.

"When I looked back in the rear-view mirror, I saw Mr. Gordon throw his hands up and he started shooting at my van," said Newson.

"That is when that man got out, Shawana, Debra, Glen, they all see that man get out with a firearm in his hand, and what does he do when the van drives off? He just starts to shoot, six bullets went into that mini-van filled with his children and Shawana's others kids," said prosecutor Lanie Bandell.

"I jumped out of the van and ran around to the back seat to try to get the kids out of the ca and I noticed Mayia slumped over near Justin," Shawana said.

Mayia was hit in the head by one of the bullets and later died at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital

No other passengers in the minivan were hit. Gordon fled the scene and eventually turned himself in to police in Tampa. Police said Gordon and Newson had recently split up, and that Newson had filed a police report the night before the shooting after a domestic dispute with Gordon.

Defense attorneys for Gordon said Jody did shoot into the van, but didn't know there were children inside because of its tinted windows. They also said Gordon was trying to scare Shawana and in the "heat of passion, he didn't think about it."

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