Testimony underway in Cordele murder trial - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Testimony underway in Cordele murder trial

Keontay Miller inside the courtroom. (Source: WALB) Keontay Miller inside the courtroom. (Source: WALB)
Scene of deadly South 12th Street shooting, May 14, 2015. (Source: WALB) Scene of deadly South 12th Street shooting, May 14, 2015. (Source: WALB)
Murder victim 39-year-old Tellis Fort Murder victim 39-year-old Tellis Fort
Dennard sentenced to 25 years in prison for role in Fort's murder Dennard sentenced to 25 years in prison for role in Fort's murder
CORDELE, GA (WALB) -

Jurors listened to opening statements in the murder trial of a defendant accused of gunning down a Cordele man outside the victim's home.

The prosecution started off telling the jury about the victim, Tellis Fort.

They said Fort was robbed and shot outside his home after working out.

"This defendant thinks life is cheap," they argued.

Fort, a well known and well liked clothing salesman, was gunned down outside his South 12th Street home the night of May 14, 2015.

They said evidence will show that Keontay Miller and Conardo Dennard both went to Fort's home armed with pistols and shot Fort through the chest.

Officers found Fort near his car suffering from gunshot wounds. He died a short time later at Crisp Regional Hospital.

Prosecutors said the two ran away through the woods and dropped their guns nearby.

Assistant District Attorney Brad Rigby said they didn't even take the $15 out of Fort's pocket.

They say Miller's DNA was found on both guns including the one they allege killed Fort.

The defense argued back, saying the evidence will show conflicting evidence about Miller's involvement.

Rigby said several times that Fort was only seven steps from safety.

"He arrives home from the gym in his gym shorts and no shirt after his workout," said Rigby. "He gets out of his car and he's confronted by this man because life is cheap to Keontay miller."

"I ask that you keep an open mind, that you scrutinize every witness that testifies in this case, and at the close of the state's case, close of all the evidence, I'm going to ask that you find Mr. Miller not guilty," Defense Attorney Andrew Dove argued back.

Fort's sister got emotional on the stand as she detailed speaking to her brother an hour before he was killed.

The state also called two neighbors to the stand that originally made the 911 call and Cordele police officers that responded to the scene. 

Miller and Dennard were captured two weeks after the killing in Camden County following a tip to law enforcement.

Last week Dennard, who relatives say is Fort's second cousin, pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced to life in prison.

The trial is expected to take most of the week.

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