Convenience store slaying trial may go to jury Thursday

The case against a 21-year-old Macon man charged with fatally shooting a convenience store clerk in 2009 will probably go to a jury Thursday, according to prosecutor Sandra Matson.

Testimony continued Wednesday in the trial of Maurice Murray Battle, who is charged with murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault stemming from an Aug. 30, 2009, robbery inside the Chevron gas station and store, located at 1257 Riverside Drive.

Store manager Dipak “Danny” Patel, 29, was fatally shot in the heist.

Prosecutors previously sought the death penalty against Battle, but they changed their minds after receiving evidence related to his mental health history.

Wendy Patterson, a clerk at the store, testified Tuesday that Patel complied with the robbers’ demands before he was shot.

Battle’s co-defendants, 28-year-old Korey Stephens and 27-year-old Rashard Jeran Harris, also have testified in the case. Stephens has admitted he drove Battle to the store and picked him up. Harris has said he took money from the store, but he wasn’t the man who shot Patel.

Joseph Romond, one of Battle’s lawyers, has said he questions the credibility of witnesses in the case, including Stephens and Harris, both of whom accepted plea bargains and could benefit from their testimony.

No forensic evidence -- DNA or fingerprints -- link Battle to the killing, he said.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.