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UPDATE: Bibb jury continues deliberations in murder trial

After three hours a Bibb County jury is still deliberating the fate of a Macon man accused of fatally shooting a man during Labor Day weekend in 2007.

Jurors began deliberations at about 1 p.m. today after taking a lunch break.

Carl Harris, 28, is accused of shooting 34-year-old Michael McKenzie seven times as he sat in his car at the corner of Cardinal Place and Winifred Way on Sept. 3, 2007.

While jurors took their lunch break, the court heard additional testimony not allowed to be included in the jurors' consideration of the case.

Harris's public defender, Mark Beberman, said the additional testimony was presented to ensure it would be included in the court record if the case is later appealed.

Macon police officers testified they responded to Harris's girlfriend's house on Wellworth Avenue on Sept. 3 and Sept. 4 after receiving reports the door had been kicked in and shots had been fired at the house.

Det. Jeffery Woodard, then a patrol officer, said he responded to the house on Sept. 4 and could see 11 bullet holes from outside the house.

He said no one was at home at the time of the shooting.

Throughout the trial, Beberman has argued Harris and his girlfriend feared for their lives after Harris became involved in an arguement with men in the neighborhood and both of them were threatened by McKenzie.

To further support Harris's fear of retribution and his perceived need to leave town after the shooting, Beberman called Macon Police Lt. Carl Fletcher to testify about gangs in the neighborhood where McKenzie was shot.

Fletcher told the court McKenzie and at least two of the neighborhood men called to testify were at one time affiliated with the Kitchen Pride gang that gathers in the neighborhood off Columbus Road behind the Kitchen Pride store.

The Kitchen Prides have had a reputation for violence and habitually carrying hand guns in Macon since they first came to the police's attention in 1998, Fletcher said.

Fletcher said the police have kept photo albums of documented gang members. McKenzie, Ronald Neal and Akbar Harclerode were in the album, Fletcher said.

He said the gang is still in existence, but wasn't sure of McKenzie, Neal or Harclerode's recent involvement.

Fletcher said members who remain in their neighborhood generally maintain at least a bond with their fellow gang members.

Fletcher also testified to police seizing several weapons, including an assault rifle, from a house on Westover Drive while attempting to serve an arrest warrant on Harclerode for aggravated assault in 2005.

McKenzie was at the house, but was not arrested, Fletcher said.

He said police also seized three baseball hats with a "pride family" logo on the back.

Throughout the trial, Beberman has argued Harris shot McKenzie in self-defense after McKenzie pointed a gun at him.

Harris was indicted for felony murder and malice murder by a Bibb County grand jury late last year.

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