LIVE: Harris-James murder trial coverage - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

LIVE: Harris-James murder trial coverage

Jordan Harris and Ezekial James in court Monday. Jordan Harris and Ezekial James in court Monday.
Jamon Carter testifies on Thursday afternoon Jamon Carter testifies on Thursday afternoon
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The trial of two men charged with murdering an Albany business owner began with opening statements Monday.

Jordan Harris and Ezekial James are accused of robbing and shooting Walter Phelps at his hardware store in July 2010. He died two months later.

Trial coverage from Albany, GA:

  • Friday, August 15:

Defense attorney Lisa Johnson questioned Jamon Carter for about 30 minutes this morning, claiming he is the gunman who robbed P&P and shot Walter Phelps on July 3, 2010.

She asked Carter about how he had his mom get rid of the clothes Jordan Harris bought for him at the Polo store in Lake Park using Walter Phelps' credit card.

The defense pointed out that Carter's mother destroyed the evidence before he went to police and claim he never planned to tell them the truth.

Carter testified Thursday that he heard Jordan Harris talk about the robbery at P&P hardware before it happened.

The defense questioned why Carter never went to the police about it, until his picture was on the news in surveillance video from the store after the robbery.

The defense says he only tells half truths and that CARTER fits the description of the shooter.

Carter, who was also originally charged in the case, entered a plea deal with the state. He's plead guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery and credit card fraud.

The defense says Carter will do and say whatever he has to to stay out of prison.


  • Thursday, August 14:

2:50 p.m.  Prosecutors are asking 25 year-old Jamon Carter about his history and friendship with James and Harris.  Carter says he's known them for 10 years and they use to hang out all the time.  When prosecutors asked Carter about the events leading up to the July 3, 2010 robbery, Carter says Harris mentioned it while a group of them were hanging out.

"He knew a lick," said Carter. 
"What's a lick?" Asked prosecutor Heather Lanier. 
"A robbery," explained Carter.  
"Where at?" Asked Lanier. 
"P&P," said Carter. 

Carter also testified that Harris said James would be the getaway driver.

Prosecutors also asked Carter about their shopping spree at the Polo Store in Lake Park hours after the shooting and robbery. Harris is accused of using Walter Phelps' credit card at that store during their trip.

The prosecution asked Carter to identify everyone in the surveillance video from the store on that day. He has pointed out himself, Harris, James, and another friend.

Carter says Harris paid for items with a credit card for himself, James and Harris. 

 2:25 p.m.  Jamon Carter is taking the stand now in court. He is testifying against Harris and James.
  • Wednesday, August 13: 
12:40 p.m. The court is in its lunch break. The defense wanted to wait till after lunch to being questioning Fletcher.

The court took a 10 minute recess about 12:25.  Teresa "Pam" Fletcher was next to take the witness stand. 

She worked at the hardware store and walked into the robbery in progress on July 3, 2010. She testified that she found Walter Phelps on the floor after he was shot, and claims Jordan Harris held a gun in her face and demanded money. 
  • Monday, August 11:
11:30 a.m. Defense wrapped up their opening statements around 11:28 a.m.

The attorneys for both Harris and James say there is a lack of physical evidence that the two were involved in the robbery and shooting. The defense said the state has witnesses that are not trustworthy.

Prosecution has called their first witness, Shirley Phelps, Walter's wife.

11:00 a.m. Jury just took a break. Prosecution has finished their opening statements. They spent about 30 minutes explaining the key players that resulted in the armed robbery and death of Walter Phelps.

Heather Lanier says Walter Phelps was busy opening up his store, P&P Garden and Hardware store, on July 3, 2010 when Jordan Harris went in and shot Phelps in the back and demanded money. Lanier says Harris took Phelps' wallet and keys then ran out the back door where Ezekial James was waiting in the getaway car.

Lanier said the two picked up Jamon Carter and Roderick Ferrell and went on a shopping spree using Phelps' credit card at the Polo store in Lake Park, GA just three hours after the armed robbery.

Lanier says the jury will see evidence and hear testimony that will prove this.

Defense will begin their statements next.

10:08 a.m. Heather Lanier with the prosecution started opening statements by reviewing the charges for James and Harris.

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