MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - In the final day of testimony in the Shakara Dickens murder trial, jurors were told the accused mom eliminated family and friends after they wanted to know about her daughter's disappearance. But, it's what happened after her arrest that could be the smoking gun in this case.
Dickens is charged with the murder of her 9-month-old daughter Lauryn. The girl's body was never found. Dickens told family, friends and police three very different stories about what happened.
Shakara Dickens has had several friends take the stand during the trial, but all of them say they're 'former' friends. Every fall out happened after Lauryn's disappearance.
Jemiece Adamson was the closest to Shakara Dickens. She had a key to Dickens' apartment and was Lauryn's godmother. "[Shakara] was my former best friend," she told jurors.
The two had a falling out when Lauryn vanished. Adamson last saw the baby on September 6, 2010.
"Over the phone I asked what was going on, it aired the news, she told me that juvenile had called her and said someone was trying to adopt Lauryn. I told her that didn't make sense, so we had an argument to the point that we hung up."
After pressing the issue in text messages, Dickens gave Adamson another story; she said Lauryn's father's parents wanted to adopt the baby. She told Adamson that she had told them no, but they still had Lauryn. That was on September 14.
Then Dr. Ronnie Norfleet, Lauryn's paternal grandfather, took the stand. He testified the baby never once spent the night at their home, and they never discussed adoption.
Not only that, the grandparents were in Atlanta for Labor Day weekend, when Dickens said they took Lauryn.
The jury also heard from an adoption worker who said Dickens never contacted them about adoption. There is no record of Lauryn being adopted, and the worker said the adoption process would take several months, not a weekend, as Dickens told her family.
Then the only person who says Dickens confessed to killing her daughter took the stand.
Lynette Lane was in custody with Dickens last fall; She said the confession came during a church service in jail.
"[The pastor] was preaching about God forgiving you of your sins and things like that. And Shakara started crying and saying, 'God will not forgive me for what I've done.' The lady was like, 'What have you done?' 'What I'm here for,'" Lane testified.
Lane says she knew it was about the murder of her baby, which is why she notified a judge about what Dickens had said.
"I'm not sure of her name because she don't talk about the baby. It was seeing pictures of the baby really made me feel bad about it," Lane said.
There's also a poem found by detectives in Dickens' cell in January 2011. According to Memphis homicide detective Sgt. Deborah Carson, the poem is titled A Person and a Secret, dated November 24, 2010.
"I always tell you your secrets are safe with me, like Alicia Keys said just think of me as the pages in your diary," it reads.
But it's the last line that the prosecution kept repeating:
"It's one thing you know about me that no one else knows but sometimes I'm afraid. I would never take my secrets to the head because when I die it goes with me to the grave. By Shakara Dickens."
Dickens did not take the stand in her own defense.
Closing arguments in the case will begin Friday morning.