Gangs and gang customs took center stage at a triple murder trial going on in Savannah this week.
Nine people took the stand on Monday in the case against Keith Lamont Marrow, 28, accused of shooting and killing three people in 2017.
The State of Georgia called a Hardeeville police officer who arrested Marrow for a traffic stop on April 23, 2017, just before midnight.
Hardeeville Officer Aaron Aager said Marrow did not comply and actually tried to fight him once he got out of the vehicle.
He says Marrow was going 89 in a 60 mile per hour zone and refused to stop. The chase continued for a few miles before marrow crashed.
The officer drew his weapon to get him to comply, and once he put the gun away to arrest Marrow, he says the defendant started getting aggressive.
State: “He was fighting with you?”
Officer Aager: “Yes.”
State: “He wasn’t cooperating with you?”
Officer Aager: “No he was not. He was trying to get up, he was trying to flee, so had to hold him down on the ground until I had back upcoming…I find back up we eventually got him cuffed and he started to talk.”
Marrow confessed to the murders but said it was out of self-defense. Officer Aager says he did not see Marrow toss out a 9mm or a magazine during the pursuit, possibly because it was dark.
Prosecutors called a former member of the Eastside Gangster Bloods, Charlie Dixon, who was affiliated with Marrow when he arrived in Savannah weeks before the murders.
Dixon said, according to one of the victims 31-year-old Courtney German, Marrow moved from Miami because he was homeless and using a drug called “Flakka” a synthetic drug worse than cocaine but similar to bath salts.
Dixon told jurors he had only witnessed Marrow using ecstasy and marijuana. But he said most gang members wouldn’t kill over a small amount of money.
That’s why the defense says Marrow feared for his life, that’s why he killed the victims.
The state asked Dixon if with his prior experience as a member of the Eastside Gangster Bloods, would they kill one of their own over money — $30 to be exact.
“We have situations in our gang where we got brothers stealing the brother. We don’t kill each other about it. We fight about. And we suck it up from there and we move on,” Dixon said.
A gang unit supervisor called by the defense agreed.
Savannah Police Sgt. John Puhala was called by the prosecution. During his investigation of the gang after the murders, he testified he found no evidence to indicate the three victims or their leader known as “Tabo,” who is serving a 15-year sentence, posed a threat to Marrow.
“There rules are no different than the rules or Georgia. Certain ones are more serious than others so,” Puhala said.
Testimonies will continue Wednesday morning.