The attorney for a man accused of murder repeatedly challenged the testimony Tuesday of two eyewitnesses who identified his client as the killer.
Dan Ripper questioned why witness Nikita Petty didn't tell police in her statement that she knew the man who had killed her brother, Jacquard Petty, on July 3, 2008.
"Not once did you tell them Carl Moore shot your brother," Ripper said of her initial conversations with police. "And there's no doubt you've known this since the minute it happened, right?"
Nikita Petty first told police that a man her brother had fought earlier that night at the 2301 Club on Milne Street was responsible. In a follow-up interview, she identified Moore, a man she'd known since 1993, as the shooter.
"A couple of days after the statement I told them I made a mistake," Nikita Petty testified Tuesday. "[Moore] ate at our house, shot dice at our house, played Xbox at our house. We thought we knew him, but I guess not."
Moore has been in custody at the Hamilton County Jail on a $250,000 bond since his arrest shortly after the 2008 shooting.
Assistant District Attorneys Bill Hall and Brian Finlay are prosecuting the first-degree murder case against Moore. Finlay opened the case by telling the jury that, shortly after Jacquard Petty left 2301 Club that night, "Carl Moore chases him down and shoots him. Carl Moore kills him in cold blood."
In his opening statement, Ripper countered prosecutors' claims and told the jury "there's not one single piece of physical evidence that links Mr. Moore to this."
Kamika Jordan had driven Nikita Petty and another woman to 2301 Club to pick up Jacquard Petty just before 2 a.m. Jordan testified that, during fights that involved men chasing Jacquard Petty across the street from the club and into a parking lot, she saw Moore run through the crowd.
"He was running past me with a gun," Jordan testified.
"And what was he doing?" Hall asked.
"He was shooting at him," she replied. "Jacquard had done fell and (Moore) was standing over him with the gun."
"Then what happened?" Hall asked.
"He shot him," she said.
But Ripper challenged how well she could see Moore running by her in a few seconds and while he was wearing a baseball hat that partially shaded his face.
Jordan said Moore turned his face toward her as he ran.
Nikita Petty and Jordan drove Jacquard Petty to Erlanger hospital after he'd been shot in the left eye.
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...