Sixth shooting suspect goes on trial

Published 9:02 am Saturday, December 12, 2009

COURTLAND—The sixth and final suspect in the September 2008 attempted robbery and shooting of a Franklin man pleaded not guilty to charges connected to the crime and went on trial in Southampton County Circuit Court on Friday.

Jadon Artis, 19, appeared before Judge Westbrook T. Parker to answer to several charges, including attempted robbery, the use of a firearm in the commission of attempted robbery, discharging a firearm in public, conspiracy to commit robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and the use of a firearm in the commission of aggravated malicious wounding.

Parker dismissed two other charges — malicious wounding by mob and the use of a firearm in the commission of aggravated malicious wounding.

A number of witnesses, including Timothy Warren, who now has to use a wheelchair after being shot, took the stand Friday.

“I hesitated. I didn’t know what to do … so I just ran,” Warren said, recounting the moments right before shots rang out.

Warren testified Friday that he saw the five men who have already been convicted in the shooting, but couldn’t make out the sixth person — he only knew that they had dreadlocks.

Daremus Lewis, who pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the case on Thursday, testified that Artis wasn’t involved. However, two witnesses for the prosecution testified that Artis admitted involvement.

Wallace Brittle, Artis’ attorney, argued that Artis was at home at the time of the shooting.

“The evidence is that he was not at the scene,” Brittle said.

However, Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke argued that Artis lied about his whereabouts when interviewed by the police.

The trial is scheduled to resume Tuesday at 9 a.m.