Late on the night of Dec. 2, 2009, Ronald Shane Turner drove along with a man and a woman to an apartment complex in the 4000 block of Marion Avenue in south Macon.
William King, 34, also drove to the apartments that night with two friends.
The two groups of people didnt really know one another and had not planned to meet.
Although several people were at the apartments that night, no one heard what was said between Turner and King that led to King being fatally stabbed about 12:30 a.m. Dec. 3, said prosecutor Dorothy Hull in opening statements Tuesday in the murder trial for 42-year-old Turner.
For whatever reason ... a physical tussle began, Hull said.
The men began fighting in front of the apartments, but then the altercation shifted up the street out of witnesses view, she said.
Turners lawyer, Larry Fouche, told jurors King approached Turner, told him he owed him $1,000 and at some point threatened Turner.
Fouche said King also struck Turner with a beer bottle.
He tried to get away, Fouche said. But he alleged King followed Turner.
Fouche said Turner yelled leave me alone and for a friend to help him, but Fouche alleged someone was holding the friend at gunpoint and didnt allow him to intervene in the fight.
King pulled Turners leather jacket over his head. Not knowing whether King had a weapon, Turner blindly stabbed with a pocket knife to get King off of him, Fouche said.
He was acting in self defense, Fouche said.
Hull said Turner, of Evergreen Drive, had gone to the apartments to sell groceries pilfered from his girlfriends freezer and refrigerator either for money or drugs.
She said he was extremely unstable and had been smoking crack cocaine the day before the stabbing.
Although Turner had a mark on the back of his head, he didnt need medical attention that night, she said.
Turner drove away after the stabbing. The knife was never recovered, Hull said.
King passed out soon after the stabbing and never regained consciousness, Hull said.
The two men who traveled with King to the apartments testified Tuesday that they didnt see King with a weapon that night.
Neither saw the stabbing, but both said they saw King after the stabbing and one picked Turner out of police photo lineups as the man who had stabbed his friend.
One of the men, 57-year-old Bobby Yates said he heard King say that Turner had stabbed him before he passed out.
The other man, 33-year-old Corey Wallace, said he saw Turner with a knife that he described as being about a foot long.
When questioned by Fouche, both men admitted they had criminal records.
Liticia Padgett, 42, testified that she rode with Turner to the Marion Avenue apartments, but stayed by Turners truck when he went to a door and knocked in hopes of selling the groceries for drugs or money to buy drugs.
She said she saw three men exit from the door where Turner was knocking.
Thats when the fight between King and Turner started. King had a beer bottle in his hand, she said.
It just all of a sudden happened at once, Padgett said.
Padgett said she watched as the fight moved from near the apartments up the street out of her sight. Then she saw King fall to the ground and she tried to apply pressure to his stab wound while yelling for help.
She said she wasnt scared of Turner on the ride to the apartments. Although he seemed anxious, he didnt seem to be high on drugs.
He was acting fine, Padgett said.
Before opening statements, Turner addressed the judge with complaints about his lawyer, arguing Fouche has never talked with him about the case and wont call witnesses to the stand that he wants to testify.
Its my life, he said.
Fouche told the judge he has talked with Turner about the case and that the district attorneys office has informed him that Turner has threatened him.
Testimony is scheduled to continue Wednesday.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.