Precious Alex trial gets underway
"We are here because her life was tragically and sensely cut short at the far too young age of fifteen," said Assistant District Attorney Patrick Sherry. "[It happened] when these two men, Jamal Townsend and Lamar Burney went over to her house at three in the morning, shot in her bedroom window and killed her."
Jamal Townsend and Lamar Burney are both facing charges of first-degree murder. The men were arrested minutes after the crime in a vehicle that was leaving the scene. But even though the murder weapon was found inside the vehicle, there's disagreement over who pulled the trigger and why.
Sherry said the state believes it's likely Townsend shot into the home because he was angry with Alex's mother and her fiance who he believed had shorted him on a marijuana deal ten days earlier. Sherry said Townsend confronted the couple at the time and ended up in a fight with the fiancé which he didn't win. Revenge, said Sherry, was the likely motive for the murder.
But Craig Howard, the attorney for Townsend said the real killer is Lamar Burney. He said Burney pulled the trigger because he knew there was drug money in the apartment and intended to rob the couple. According to Howard, Burney got frustrated when things didn't go as planned.
"He's just so pissed off, so disgusted with the situation that he just walks up and just says 'Bam!'", Howard said using his finger to represent a gun.
In the end, Sherry said it shouldn't really matter who fired the gun because both men are guilty of murder.
"You may never know who actually pulled the trigger that night," said Sherry. "But in the eyes of the law, that does not matter. One of those men pulled the trigger and the other man was the accomplice which makes them both guilty of Precious Alex's murder."
The attorney representing Lamar Burney did not have an opportunity to speak on Thursday. His opening statements will be presented Tuesday morning when the trial resumes.