SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A jury is now reviewing witness testimonies and evidence presented to them in a triple murder that left three dead and two facing life in prison.
The prosecution’s case lasted three days with witnesses in the shooting death of Kiana Marshall, 21, Alexis Kitchens, 19, and Isaiah (Corey) Martin, 18 in Carver Village back in October of 2015.
The defense had one witness scheduled to testify Thursday morning-Travarius Gray, who was living with James Hampton at the time of the triple murder, but he did not end up testifying in front of the jury as to not incriminate himself on his own murder trial for a separate incident in Yamacraw in October 2016.
In closing arguments Thursday, Hampton and Dwayne Abney’s lawyers claimed they weren’t at the scene of the murders.
During the trial, the third suspect who took a plea deal, Diamond Butler testified that Hampton and Abney picked up Abney’s cousin and then later dropped him off in Yamacraw.
Surveillance video and letters found in Abney’s jail cell from Hampton both back that up.
But in closing arguments, Abney’s lawyer claimed Abney was the one who got out of the car in the surveillance video, so he was not there when the three were shot and killed.
“We know James is driving the car. That leaves on person in the car. The only person that got out of the car is that man right there. There’s not one witness, one single witness come in this courtroom and sat on that stand and testified as to who that was,” the defense attorney, Richard Darden, told the jury.
The prosecution claimed Abney was there and actually pushed one of the victims down, telling Hampton to shoot her. That’s why he faces similar charges to Hampton.
In his final argument, Hampton’s defense lawyer said the case is a “he said – she said” and there’s no scientific evidence pinning them to the three murders.
“There is no evidence that has been presented to you that tie these items to my client,” the defense attorney Solomon Amusan told the jury.
The prosecution said witness statements matched up, witnesses that could not have collaborated.
The lead attorney, Matthew Breedon, asked the jury for “a verdict that remembers Corey; a verdict that remembers Kiana; a verdict that says things will change and this is not acceptable; a verdict that remembers Alexis,” and as he turned to Hampton and Abney, he said “There is absolutely no doubt that you are guilty of every crime you are charged with.”
He said the evidence matches the stories, and it wouldn’t come together like it does if it wasn’t true.
“At some point, some of this has to change and that change has to start here… ’cause they don’t care, they had no remorse, no care for these kids’ lives,” Breedon told the jury.
The jury went into deliberation at about 4 p.m. Thursday and will continue on Friday.
Hampton and Abney are charged with 43 counts, including felony murder, and both face life in prison.