Opening statements start in East Albany 2016 double murder trial

Trevice Price Trial Day 2

DOUGHERTY CO., Ga. (WALB) - Opening statements in an Albany trial started Wednesday morning for a 2016 double murder that happened in the 200 block of East Road.

Prosecutors said before the shooting, Covin went to a man’s home to pick up his truck after a motor was put in, but didn’t have the money to get the car.

The state said Covin told his repairman, Fred Armstrong, to meet him on East Road to pick up the money.

Armstrong testified that when he got there, he saw Covin get into Price’s alleged car for one to two minutes and soon after, Covin got out and Price followed later, firing shots at the victim from behind.

Prosecutors said others were on scene, including Tumblin, Price’s cousin, who was also shot by the defendant and died four days later.

Prosecutors said Covin was trying to pay off his car repairmen for fixing his truck. The state said Covin went to pick up money from Price in what they believe was a drug exchange gone wrong.

Covin’s car repairmen said he saw Price shoot the victim from behind several times.

Prosecutors said Tumblin was on scene with another man and was shot and told police who shot him.

“He didn’t say it like, ‘Trevis Price.’ He said he was very scared. His voice was shaking, it was a little hard to understand him to begin with. And he said it like, ‘Trevis... Price...’ something along that line,” said Brennten Laethem, an Albany Police Department officer who responded to the scene.

Price’s attorney said Tumblin had a high level of alcohol in his system at the time of the shooting and could’ve been wrong as Price is his first cousin.

The attorney argues the wrong man is on trial for the homicides.

It was a jammed packed day with many officers, medical examiners and others who all took the stand.

But it was Armstrong’s testimony that revealed alarming details.

When Armstrong took the stand, Price looked straight forward the entire time as he recalled what happened at the scene on East Road.

Armstrong, Covin’s car repair man, said he came to that area to pick up money the victim said he would get from someone, but saw Tumblin and Covin get shot.

Armstrong testified he even heard Tumblin question who the shooter was and that man said, “It’s your cuz.”

“He told him his name. [Prosecutor: So you don’t remember the actual name, you just remember it’s your cousin?] Yes," said Armstrong.

Attorneys said Tumblin and Price are first cousins and prosecutors believe Price shot at Tumblin, Covin, Armstrong and Covin’s wife in a nearby car to get rid of witnesses.

Senior District Attorney Mike Taborrok said because of the evidence in this case, it should move fairly quickly.

The prosecutor said he will have two more witnesses take the stand Thursday and expects the jurors to begin deliberating by noon.

BACKGROUND OF THE TRIAL:

  • Opening statements started around 9:45 Wednesday morning.
  • Price is indicted on 12 counts:
    • Counts 1-2: Malice Murder
    • Counts 3-4: Felony Murder
    • Counts 5-6: aggravated assault
    • Counts 7-10: possession of firearm during commission of a felony
    • Counts 11: possession of cocaine with intent to distribute
    • Counts 12: possession of firearm by convicted felon
  • Opening statements lasted until 11.

In the opening statements, Tabarrok said the murder happened on October 12 into the morning hours of October 13, 2016. Prosecutors said Covin (one of the victims) came from Atlanta and went to get his car fixed. Once it was fixed, he didn’t have all of the money for it and then told the car repairman he would get him the money ASAP.

Prosecutors said Covin couldn’t wait and ended up taking his keys. The repairman called him and asked where was the money and the car. Prosecutors said Covin told him he would get him the money at an address on East Road.

Once the man got to the address, prosecutors said he saw the murders happen in front of him.

Covin got into a car allegedly where Price was for about 1-2 minutes, he later got out and Price started shooting him from behind multiple times, according to prosecutors. He was shot in the head, arm and back.

Prosecutors allege Covin and Price were making a drug exchange.

Allegedly Covin was trying to get money to pay his car repairman immediately.

Prosecutors also said two other people were on scene, Tumblin and another man who left the scene. The state said Tumblin saw the shooter before the shooting and asked, “Who are you?”

The state said Price said, “I’m your cuz.”

Prosecutors said Price and Tumblin were cousins, however they allege that after Price shot Covin, he started shooting at every witness on scene. Tumblin (Price’s first cousin) was hit and died four days later.

Prosecutors also said Covin’s wife was in the car nearby and was waiting on him, thinking he was giving someone gas money and later heard the shots. The state said the person started shooting at her, but she got into the drivers seat and took off and told police that she thought her husband had been shot. Price’s attorney said Covin’s wife never saw who the shooter was.

The defense attorney, Troy Golden, said it’s unfortunate that this happened and Tumblin and Covin didn’t deserve this, however, he said the state has the wrong person on trial.

The state said when two APD officers arrived on scene, they asked Tumblin who shot him three times and each time the man said, “Trevis.”

Price’s attorney said during the time Tumblin was in the hospital, he was able to receive visitors. Price told his attorney that his cousin told him that a man named Charles did the shooting.

The state said they traced Covin’s phone records and they saw several text messages from a number that was saved under “homie Lavell.” They said Lavell is Price’s middle name and Covin and Price texted the day of the murder up until the final hours of their meeting, talking about drugs.

The trial will continue Thursday morning at 9 a.m.

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