Jury Begins Deliberations in Retrial of Joshua Andrews

As prosecutors tell it, almost four years ago, Joshua Andrews laid in ambush on June 5, 2010, and killed Darond Alonte Lucas execution style. But defense attorneys say that evidence never shows the gun in Andrews’ hands.

These were the closing arguments jurors heard Monday afternoon.

Andrews, now 21, is charged with first-degree murder while armed, assault with intention to kill, and three related weapons charges in connection with the shooting death of 17-year-old Lucas. Lucas was found dead by police at approximately 2:55 a.m. with multiple gunshot wounds, including several to the back of his head.

A previous jury failed to reach a verdict in November, prompting the retrial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melinda Williams told the jury that the testimonies of Monique Weldon and Phillip Smith show a methodical murder where that Andrews was a shooter. Smith was also shot that night, prosecutors say, and was able to describe his shooter.

According to Williams, Weldon testified that she saw Andrews, someone she is familiar with, under a balcony in the dark right before the shooting.

Smith testified that a man matching Andrews’ description came out from under a balcony, pulled out a gun, and started firing, according to Williams. He then ran onto a nearby bus and didn’t report the shooting or seek medical attention, according to Williams.

He’s been running from the killers ever since,” said Williams.

But Moore points out that Smith didn’t identify Andrews in a photo lineup once police caught up with him, something Smith now says he did on purpose in order to stay out of trouble.

Moore added that the Smith’s and Weldon’s testimony contradict each other in their description of the shooter’s clothes. Prosecutors said clothing they described could have been the same clothing seen from different perspectives.

The jury will resume deliberations tomorrow.

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