Closing arguments for murder trial scheduled for today

Testimony on Wednesday alleged two men accused in the March 26, 2008, shooting of a 37-year-old man on Fletcher Street were with their girlfriends at the time of the incident.

Marcus Lashae Newsome, 36, said he was with his girlfriend on Log Cabin Drive on the night of the shooting.

They were together when someone called his girlfriend that night and told her about the shooting, he said.

Jerrod Antwain Carter, 18, did not testify, but his mother took the stand and said he was with her until about 8:45 p.m. when she took him to his girlfriend’s home on Chambers Road.

His girlfriend testified Carter was with her all night.

Carter and Newsome are accused of murder in the death of Lawrence Chambliss.

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 at the house on March 26.

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.

A third man, 29-year-old Eric Estrada Haynes, was convicted in connection with the case in December.

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

Instead, he repeatedly said, “I don’t have nothing to say.”

Haynes 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.

Newsome, the sole witness for his defense, also testified that he didn’t own a gun and didn’t have one March 26, 2008.

He denied ever going to Fletcher Street or Pebble Street.

He admitted he knew Haynes and had sold him powder cocaine in 2008. He owed Newsome $120 for the drugs in March 2008, Newsome said.

Newsome also admitted to knowing Carter, but denied ever being with both men at the same time.

Gregory Bentley, 25, of Henrietta Street, testified that he gave Newsome and another man a ride in a woman’s silver Honda three or four days prior to the shootings.

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.

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 silver Honda driving away from the Henrietta Street area a few hours before Chambliss was killed. Witnesses have said they saw the car during the shootings on Fletcher and Pebble streets.

During his testimony, Newsome denied riding in a silver Honda with Bentley.

He said he had sold Bentley cocaine in the past and Bentley owed him $60 in March 2008.

Sgt. Steve Gatlin, a Macon police crime scene witness, testified he found Carter’s fingerprint on the front driver-side fender of the silver Honda.

The prosecution and defense finished presenting their cases Wednesday afternoon. Closing arguments are scheduled for this morning.

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