Trial Opens: Did Lamonte Perry Lead Andre Jackson To His Death?

Prosecutors say Lamonte Perry was loyal to his close friend Andre Jackson, but he was also loyal to his 37th street neighborhood.

So on Nov. 4, 2012, Perry led Jackson behind an apartment complex and into an ambush set up by Marquette Tibbs, Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Kenerson said Monday. And though Perry never fired a shot, he helped ensure Jackson died that night, Kenerson said.

Perry faces one count of first-degree murder, three related weapons charges and one count of obstruction of justice in connection with Jackson’s death. Tibbs, Perry’s former co-defendant, is charged with first-degree murder and two related weapons charges; he is scheduled to begin trial on September 15.

Perry’s defense attorney, Kevin Irving, insisted his client did not know what was going to happen behind that building on the 300 block of Ridge Road Southeast.

In fact, Irving said prosecutors cannot prove Perry and Tibbs communicated or conspired before the murder.

Speculation,” Irving said to the jury. “That’s what the government is going to ask you to do in this trial.”

Kenerson, the prosecutor, said that a fight earlier in the night convinced Tibbs to put his plan to get even with Jackson into action, a plan that involved Jackson’s good friend. Prosecutors have said Tibbs wanted to kill Jackson because Jackson shot and destroyed property at Tibbs’ grandmother’s house in February 2010.

While in jail, Perry all but confessed to another inmate that he played a role in the murder, Kenerson told jurors. Additionally, on the night of the murder, a woman saw Perry pulling Jackson towards the alley where Jackson was shot, Kenerson said Monday.

Irving suggested two of the prosecution’s witnesses were only testifying to receive lesser sentences in criminal cases against them. According to Irving, Perry had no motive to help kill the man who both sides agreed was his close friend.

One does not necessarily have to pull a trigger to be guilty of murder,” Kenerson told jurors.

The trial is set to resume at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday before Judge Rhonda Reid Winston.

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