Bethea’s cousin testifies Bethea told him he helped with the murder

Thursday the soft-spoken Shamir Stratton took the stand to testify against his own cousin Damon Bethea something he admitted hurt him to do. Bethea standing trial for a double homicide and home invasion in 2014.

On the stand Stratton testified that the night of January 13 2014 he was in a car with Rhamir Whaples, Richard Robinson and Bethea.  

Steven Kellam gave him three guns through the window and he in turn gave them to Whaples, Robinson and Bethea.  Kellam later called and told everyone in the car on speakerphone  to kill and rob Cletis Nelson and William Hopkins.

Stratton testified that while Whaples and Robinson were down with the plan he and Bethea  were against the plan. 

Nonetheless Stratton said he drove to a trailer on Harmons Hill Road where Bethea and the other gunmen got out of the car.   

Stratton says he heard around 20 gunshots and it seemed like they were fired from three different guns.  

Robinson and Whaples came out of the trailer got into the car and the three left leaving Bethea behind.  

Stratton claims later on Bethea told him that he had helped kill Hopkins and Nelson, helped with the robbery and had stayed behind to try and clear the scene of any evidence.  

Stratton has already accepted a deal with the state, 

He has previously pleaded guilty to one count of home invasion, robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.  

Stratton faces a possible sentence of anywhere between 12 and 77 years.  

The state asked him if he entered into the plea with hopes that he would get a lighter sentence.  

He replied, "I pray to god I do."

  Trial for Bethea was initially scheduled for three weeksbut because trial has moved faster than expected theres a chance it could wrap up before next weekend.  

The  two other gunmen's cases have already been concluded. Rhamir Whaples was found guilty last month. Richard Robinson accepted a plea deal.

Categories: Delaware, Local News