Phil was clear as to what he wanted. “Sour OG, which is a cross of Kush and Sour Diesel.” Phil asked for three pounds and the price was negotiated: “Eleven thousand five hundred, give or take.”
Jeremiah said they were just meeting that night. “The deal was supposed to go down the following day.” Phil would bring the money, cash, on Wednesday. “He said [he’d come by] sometime the next day, when he got the money together.”
Show a Little Respect
Phil arrived at Jeremiah’s house at about 4:00 p.m. the following day. The man with the sparkly jewelry and tattoos and scarred hand arrived in a dark-colored sedan and parked on the other side of a fence that surrounded Jeremiah’s home. The fence was five or six feet tall, so Jeremiah didn’t get a good look at the car, and he didn’t notice if there was anybody else in the car.
Phil came in. “Hung out, smoked some marijuana, and talked.” They moved to the kitchen and got busy gathering up the three pounds of pot. “Yes, we packaged it, vacuum-sealed it, and put it in boxes.” In court, an attorney wanted to know how that was done.
“Take the marijuana and put it into a vacuum-sealed bag and seal it,” Jeremiah explained. “And then sealed it [again], you know, went over the vacuum-wrap one more time, and sealed it again, wrapped it in Mylar, and put it into a FedEx box.” Why did they put it into a FedEx box? “For more of a discreet going about, you know, hiding the marijuana.”
Did Phil tell Jeremiah what he was going to do with three pounds of marijuana? “I’m assuming sell it. Get rid of it.” A year later, Jeremiah told the judge that Phil said he was taking it to Kansas City.
After the packaging, Phil and Jeremiah went back into the living room and smoked more pot using the fancy bong. Phil also smoked little cigars called Black & Milds. Jeremiah particularly remembered it. “A cigar with a plastic tip on it.” Cigar tips containing Phil’s DNA collected in an ashtray.
Phil used his cell phone; he was speaking to someone. “What I did hear was him complaining about his girlfriend as he hung up the phone, and so that led me to believe that it was a girl,” Jeremiah recalled. He felt compelled to say something about Phil’s attitude. “I just remember telling him that’s the mother of his child, give a little more respect.”
He scolded him? “Because he was complaining. Because when he hung up the phone, he was complaining about her, and I just said, ‘You know, you should show her a little more respect; she’s the mother of your child.’ And I dropped it from there.”
Jeremiah said they used up the pot he had on the coffee table. “And then I ran out of that, and I had to get more.... I had more marijuana in my bedroom.” Jeremiah went to get more from a blue plastic storage bin against the wall, under a window, in his room. “Went back to the area where the marijuana was, opened the bin, bent down, and reached for it.
“That’s when I was shot at. No questions asked, no ‘Get down,’ no warning, no nothing. Just shot at me.
“How close was the gun to my head? A couple inches. If he would have moved a fraction of an inch, I would have been dead.”
Jeremiah said he was very scared. He described Phil as standing two feet away, with one arm outstretched, a black semi-automatic in his hand. Jeremiah said Phil stood like that for “a minute or two.”
Jeremiah could see the bullet hole. “It hit right next to the window, along the window ledge.” There was only one window in the little bedroom. “I was fearing for my life and telling him please not to kill me.” Jeremiah said he begged for his life “at least ten times.”
After the Shot Was Fired
Phil shouted at Jeremiah. He wanted to know “where the money was at.” Jeremiah told him that “I didn’t have any.”
Then, “Phil demanded me to move, you know, to move over there, to get down.” But there wasn’t enough space in his tiny room to lie down on the floor, so Jeremiah went into a kneeling position, facing his bed, with his head on the mattress and his arms stretched out in front of him. “I was face in the bed, and I was trying to look up, you know, and he kept telling me to turn around.
“I thought I was going to die.”
The Third Man
Then someone else came into the room. “Another gentleman came in and took my wallet.” Jeremiah said he didn’t actually see the other man enter. How did he know another guy came in? “Because I heard Phil yelling, ‘Get his wallet! Get his wallet!’” Jeremiah’s wallet was taken out of his back pocket.
The frightened host got the briefest look at the second guy — he remembered him as “male,” and “I just seen, you know, a darker individual.” Jeremiah dared not take a second look. “I was getting told to put my head down.”
“I was trying to tell them,” Jeremiah explained, “to at least leave the IDs because it’s a pain in the ass to go get new IDs. And they left the wallet with the IDs.” Three hundred dollars was removed, and the wallet was left on the floor.
Just before he left, Phil warned Jeremiah not to get up too soon. Phil told Jeremiah to count to 10,000 or “if I get up, he’ll shoot me through the window.” Jeremiah didn’t count. “I heard them peel out — you know, leave. Leavin’ my driveway. And I got into my car and went after ’em for about a block. And then decided — I turned around. It wasn’t worth destroying my car, or, you know, what was I going to do if I caught up with them, anyways?