Prosecution rests in trial of two men charged in fatal March shooting

The prosecution has rested in the case of two men accused of fatally shooting a 37-year-old man to death March 26, 2008.

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 of murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and firearms charges in connection with Chambliss' death in December.

Gregory Bentley, 24, of Henrietta Street, testified this morning that he gave Newsome and another man a ride in a car three or four days prior to the shooting. He said he traded $10 in exchange for a female drug user's keys.

After riding for a while, Bentley said he dropped Newsome off at his home. When Newsome returned to the car, Bentley discovered he had a gun in his pocket. Newsome then asked Bentley to take him to a shot house on Peter Street.

"He said he wanted to go in there and rob the place," Bentley said, adding Newsome fired a gunshot through the car windshield at some point during the ride.

Afraid, Bentley instead drove to a relative's house and got out of the car. He turned around to see Newsome and the other man driving off without him, Bentley said.

On March 26, Bentley saw the same car driving away from the Henrietta Street area a few hours before Chambliss was killed. Witnesses have said they saw the same car at the murder scene.

A police crime scene witness also testified this morning and said he found Carter's fingerprint on the front driver-side fender of the car.

Haynes was called to testify early this afternoon, but refused to answer any questions.

Instead, he repeatedly said, "I don't have nothing to say."

Haynes was convicted in connection with Chambliss' murder in December and is serving a life sentence in prison for murder, another life sentence for armed robbery, 20 years for aggravated assault and five years for firearms charges.

In opening statements held Tuesday, 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 on 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 eye witnesses, 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.

Information from The Telegraph's archives was included in this report.