Deliberations begin Thursday in Harris-James murder trial - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Deliberations begin Thursday in Harris-James murder trial

(left to right) Ezekial James and Jordan Harris (left to right) Ezekial James and Jordan Harris
GBI medical examiner Maryanne Kraft GBI medical examiner Maryanne Kraft
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Deliberations will begin at 9:00 a.m. Thursday, after closing arguments in the trial of two men accused of robbing and killing a former Lee County Commissioner and Albany businessman.

Jordan Harris and Ezekial James are on trial for the armed robbery, shooting, and subsequent death two months later of former Lee County Commissioner and Albany business owner Walter Phelps.

The defense made its argument to the jury, and the state finished closing about 3:30. The court took a 15 minute break, and the judge said he would read the  instructions.

In the several days prosecutors have been calling upon witnesses to testify against Harris and James. They hope to prove to jurors that the two should be held accountable for the death of Walter Phelps.

Phelps was shot in his back at his hardware store P and P in July 2010. Prosecutors say Jordan was the triggerman and James was his accomplice who drove the getaway car. They also believe the two after they robbed Phelps of his credit card.

Phelps died four weeks later at the age of 67.

Monday GBI medical examiner, Maryanne Kraft, testified to explain what she found to be the cause of Phelps' death. She says he suffered from blood clots in his torso caused by a gunshot wound.

The defense questioned the medical examiner saying other things can cause clots. But Dr. Kraft is confident in her findings saying "cause of death was pulmonary embolism due to a complication of the gunshot wound to the torso."

Neither Harris or James took the stand in the duration of the trial.

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.

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