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UPDATE: Two key state witnesses take stand in murder trial of former videographer

PERRY -- Two key state witnesses testified Tuesday in a case where an alleged Warner Robins drug dealer is accused of killing a former local TV videographer.

Eugene “Cash” Leslie, 29, originally from Far Rockaway, N.Y., is charged with two counts of murder, aggravated assault and possession of drugs with intent to distribute in the August 2008 death of Jason Wade, 32.

Leslie’s girlfriend, Elizabeth Moore, and associate Jordan Evora testified they were both present at the time of the shooting. Their stories of the events that led to Wade being killed by six gunshot wounds mirrored what prosecutor Daniel Bibler told jurors Monday in his opening statements.

Moore said she and Leslie walked to Wade’s house with Leslie’s handgun in her purse. Along the way, they ran into Evora.

“He said, ‘Come walk with me real quick,’ ” Evora testified, adding he thought they were going to smoke marijuana with Wade as they had done in the past.

Once at the house, Moore said she went to the restroom. Evora said he was sitting in a rocking chair facing Wade, who sat on the living room couch.

Moore said Leslie came into the restroom and took the gun from her purse. Then she heard shooting.

“I heard, ‘Ey, homey,’ and then I heard gunshots,” Evora said.

Defense attorney David Daniell attempted to knock holes in testimonies from Moore and Evora, pointing out both originally gave police different stories. Each admitted as much during questioning.

“You told the police at least four different versions that day before you finally settled on the version from today,” Daniell said to Moore.

Also, neither actually saw the shooter, Daniell pointed out.

“Even as your story changed, you have never said you saw a gun in Jason Wade’s house,” Daniell said to Evora. “You never saw anyone shoot.”

Daniell also questioned Moore’s actions following the shooting. She admitted she spoke to her mother and others afterwards but didn’t recount the murder.

She also worked an overnight shift at a Waffle House that night but said nothing to customers and didn’t call police.

“I didn’t know what to do,” Moore responded to Daniell.

Moore is testifying under a plea deal with the Houston County District Attorney’s office, in which she received a reduced sentence for aggravated assault.

A crime scene investigator also testified Tuesday, telling jurors in what condition he found the duplex, body and evidence.

Daniell questioned, on cross-examination, the lack of testing of pillows with blood spatter and several pieces of evidence that were collected.

Dr. James Whitaker, Houston County medical examiner, testified about the autopsy in detail, explaining the damage each bullet caused.

Wade’s parents and a couple others in the audience excused themselves while he was on the stand.

Wayne Mitchell, a former Houston County sheriff’s deputy, testified about the traffic stop and arrest of Leslie. He said he found about $250 worth of crack cocaine in Leslie’s pocket.

Mitchell was one of five officers who testified about the investigation, including a Houston County jail commander who spoke about a letter she found in Leslie’s outgoing mail.

Houston County Sheriff’s deputy Brandy Thompson said she found two letters during routine mail inspection and read portions of the letter in which Leslie tells a female friend a precise alibi, including what he was wearing and exact times.

“Basically, they have nothing on me,” Thompson read. “The only thing I need is an alibi.”

Houston County Superior Judge George Nunn denied two defense motions Monday that argued the letter should not be presented to the jury. Daniell objected to the letters again Tuesday.

“After looking at it and the way it came about, it didn’t appear Mr. Leslie was singled out,” Nunn said Monday, adding the letters were found “purely on routine inspection of mail entering and leaving the jail.”

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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