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'Sam's not alive,' says accused teen on taped interview shown in Court Tuesday

Two taped interviews conducted after Dakota White's arrest shown in court, explain White's version of events the weekend Poss was killed.

Dakota White is one of the two teens accused of killing Perry 18-year-old Samuel Poss in October 2016.

White is charged with malice murder, felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, concealing the death of another and tampering with evidence.

May 8, 9:30 A.M.

Judge Edward Lukemire began the proceedings in Courtroom Four after swearing-in the jury.

Assistant District Attorney Greg Winters gave a six-minute opening argument in front of the jury.

In it, he talked about Samuel Poss' desire to enlist in the Navy and his talent with computers.

Winters then spoke about the days Poss was missing back in October 2016.

Finally, Winters said investigators' interviews with White would reveal what White says he did to Poss.

He told the jury the case would only last a few days.

Megan Allen, one of the assistant public defenders representing Dakota White, gave the defense's opening argument right afterward. It also lasted six minutes.

Allen said White was struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts and was in a dark place in October 2016.

Allen then said tips to Perry Police eventually led them to White several days after Poss was first reported missing, but emphasized that White was cooperative with authorities and did not flee or fight.

Allen mentioned White did not consent to searches.

She continued, telling the jury that White told investigators what happened and eventually led them to Poss' body.

Allen completed her opening argument by saying White's words started to bring closure to what had happened.

UPDATE -- May 8, 10 A.M.

Samuel Poss' father, Christian Poss, was called to the stand as the state's first witness.

Poss told Winters in court that after not finding Sam at the Fairgrounds, he decided to call police and report Sam as missing.

Poss revealed after Sam was first reported missing, he actually searched some area with White near White's home.

Winters had Poss show the jury a few locations on a large map highlighting the area near White's house.

UPDATE -- May 8, 10:15-11:45 A.M.

Both sides cross examined two Perry police investigators.

The two investigators showed audio and video recordings of their first interactions with White soon after Poss was reported missing.

In those recordings, White repeatedly told investigators Poss had come over to fix a computer issue and then left soon afterward.

White's defense team asked those investigators about statements other interviewees made that speculated Poss was potentially unhappy at home, and could have at first been suspected of being a runaway.

White's lead attorney, Angie Coggins, questioned Perry Police Detective Quridsha Gilliam last and asked if Gilliam was aware of White's depression and attempt at suicide. Gilliam said she was aware of it.

Coggins then asked Gilliam if she arrested White at the time without a warrant and if White was compliant when arrested. Gilliam said yes.

Lastly, Coggins asked Gilliam if she was aware White led investigators to Poss' body and 'tools' used in his death. Gilliam said she was aware of it.

Then, court broke for lunch.

UPDATE -- May 8, 2 P.M.

In a taped interview with Perry Police that investigators played in court on Tuesday, White says he and Warren were planning to commit suicide together after the killing.

White claims they went to pick Sam up late in the evening in mid-October and then claims Warren stabbed Poss three times.

In the video, White is asked why they picked Sam.

White says, "He was a nice guy." Adding, "He messaged right back," the night White claims the two messaged Poss asking for computer help.

White says they cleaned White's car of blood and burned some clothing that had blood on it, according to the taped interview.

The roughly 40 minute interview included portions where White said he held a cord around Poss' neck and when it broke, White says he used his arm instead.

During the recording, investigators asked White why it happened.

Perry Police Detective Quridsha Gilliam: "Y'all wanted to commit a double suicide but y'all wanted to--"

Dakota White: "Yeah, we just figured might as well, it came down to might as well see how it feels to kill someone before we kill ourselves. We didn't see no reason not to, we were about to die, what did we care for?"

In a second taped interview from the morning hours of October 20, 2018, White says it took a lot of effort to clean the blood from his car. He said on the tape he went to Walmart to buy cleaning supplies.

Winters also introduced the two knives recovered from where the two teenagers allegedly dumped them.

On the tape, and according to Detective Jason Jones testimony, the alleged killing took place in White's driveway as Poss sat in the front passenger seat of White's car.

In the second video, White also told investigators the two teens had tried to bury Poss' body but were unsuccessful.

White's defense team emphasized that White signed a document waiving his right to an attorney and cooperated with investigators, including bringing them to Poss' body and the two knives. Coggins also brought to the court's attention that White had attempted suicide a few weeks before the alleged crimes took place.

Coggins also pointed out White's emotion when he told investigators that Poss was dead during the taped interview.


After prosecutors questioned a GBI agent who photographed the scene where Poss' body was found, Judge Lukemire put the court in recess until Wednesday morning when the state will continue its case against White.

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