Two stand trial for March 2008 murder in Bibb

The trial began Tuesday for two men accused in the March 26, 2008, shooting death of a 37-year-old man on Fletcher Street.

Marcus Lashae Newsome, 35, and Jerrod Antwain Carter, 18, are accused of murder in the death of Lawrence Chambliss. A third man, 29-year-old Eric Estrada Haynes, was convicted in December of murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and firearms charges in connection with Chambliss’ death.

In opening statements, prosecutor Nancy Scott Malcor said witnesses told police three men went to 1839 Fletcher St. and fired several shots while robbing a group of men March 26.

The group was gathered at the house watching a basketball game on TV, playing cards and playing video games, Malcor said. Chambliss was fatally shot during the robbery. Another man also was injured in the shooting.

Newsome and Carter also are accused of firing several shots at a house on Pebble Street and robbing people there shortly before going to Fletcher Street, she said.

Carter’s attorney, Bobby Bearden, said Carter has an alibi for the night when the incidents occurred.

“He was somewhere else at the time,” Bearden said.

Bearden said Carter was at home with his mother on Mikado Avenue and later went to his girlfriend’s home on Chambers Road.

“Mr. Carter could not be guilty,” Bearden said.

Newsome’s attorney, Randy Wynn, said he expects witnesses will make conflicting statements as to who was involved in the two incidents.

Seven people have been identified by eyewitnesses, Wynn said.

He said there’s no evidence Newsome was at either Fletcher Street or Pebble Street on March 26 and no proof the car he was in that night was the same car seen at the two locations.

Both Bearden and Wynn pointed out no one was able to give police the tag number on the vehicle.

Several of the men who were at the Fletcher Street house on the night of the shooting testified Tuesday. Among them were 36-year-old Troy Faulks and 33-year-old James Fuller, two victims in a Sunday night shooting at Faulks’ home in the 1100 block of Macon Avenue. Fuller and a woman, 24-year-old Candice Erica Hill, were injured in the shooting.

A witness told police he heard between 25 and 30 shots being fired into Faulks’ house just before 8 p.m. while a group gathered at the house gambled, drank and played video games, according to a police report.

Police have not confirmed any link between the shooting and the men’s testimony, said Macon police Sgt. Melanie Hofmann.

She said police don’t have any suspects in the shooting.

At the beginning of Faulks’ testimony, he said he was nervous to be testifying. Malcor asked whether his uneasiness had to do with an aggravated assault at his house during the weekend.

Bearden interjected that he wasn’t sure what Malcor and Faulks were talking about and the lawyers had a private conference with the judge. Nothing else was said about the shooting after the conference.

Faulks testified he was in the living room at 1839 Fletcher St. on March 26, 2008, when he saw a man wearing a red bandanna run to the door and start shooting a handgun.

“We scattered,” he said of the crowd inside the house.

Faulks said he sought cover from the gunfire in a bedroom with other men.

Lying on the floor in the bedroom, Faulks saw a man come in who wore a dark bandanna across his face and carried a long gun. He later identified the man as being Haynes.

Fuller testified he also sought refuge from the gunfire in the bedroom with Faulks and the other men.

“We used each other for cover,” he said.

Fuller also identified the man with the long gun as being Haynes and gave a similar description of the man in the living room with the red bandanna.

But he said he also heard what sounded like gunshots being fired at the back of the house while the two men were inside.

That meant there were at least three men, Fuller said.

After Haynes robbed the men and left the house with the first man, Fuller looked outside and saw two men getting into the passenger side of a silver Honda.

In her opening statements, Malcor said evidence presented during the trial is expected to show that police found Carter’s fingerprint on a car witnesses identified as being at both the Fletcher and Pebble street incidents.

A witness is expected to testify he saw Newsome in the car that night, she said.

Malcor said Haynes also is scheduled to testify in the case.

He told police he was at Fletcher and Pebble streets March 26 along with Newsome and Carter, she said.

Haynes is serving a sentence of life in prison for murder, another life sentence for armed robbery, 20 years for aggravated assault and five years for firearms charges.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.