McGruder murder trial over, in the hands of the judge

Published 2:02 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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The case against a man accused of killing Tyesha Gills in 2021 is now in the hands of the judge following a nearly two-week trial.

Scheduled to go through Friday, the case against Me’darian Ledale McGruder, 29, came to a close Wednesday and is now under advisement of Judge Jeffrey Kritzer. 

McGruder, 29, is facing five charges related to the homicide including two felony counts of second degree murder. Earlier this week, a count of third degree murder was dismissed.

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He’s also been charged with second degree manslaughter, violent felon in possession of a firearm and domestic assault, all of which are felonies.

McGruder pleaded not guilty to all six charges and on Jan. 22, his lawyers filed a demand for a speedy trial. 

Court documents state that Austin police responded to a call of shots fired with one individual shot at about 1:56 a.m. on July 31, 2021 in the 100 block of 10th Street Northwest. Upon arrival, police located Gills, who had been shot in the upper chest area, laying on the ground in the middle of the living room with blood on her neck and chest. 

A witness at the scene told police that the shooter was known to her as “Solid” and that his first name was possibly Me’Darian. A detective, who was shown a picture from Facebook, recognized the man as McGruder. 

The witness said that McGruder allegedly threatened to shoot Gills after she started “zapping” her taser and playing with it. At one point, McGruder allegedly said, “Stop playing with me before I shoot you.” 

The witness believed McGruder was saying it in a joking manner, but as Gills continued zapping the taser, McGruder told her, “Okay, you going (sic) to keep playing, I’m going to pop your (expletive).”    

The witness decided to go to her room and started walking away when she heard the taser activate followed by a gunshot. She then heard Gills say, “You really shot me,” and saw her fall to the floor. 

She indicated McGruder said nothing and left the apartment. A review of McGruder’s criminal record shows prior convictions for disorderly conduct and assault with a dangerous weapon.