published Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Jamaul Herman murder trial begins in Chattanooga

Prosecutors opened the murder trial against a 29-year-old man by describing how two witnesses followed him after a street shooting, then called authorities, who captured him after a car and foot chase.

But Jamaul Herman's defense attorney, Mary Sullivan Moore, told the jury Tuesday that the case again her client is flawed by bad police work.

"I believe the proof will show this is a case of unbelievable law enforcement incompetence," Moore said. "It is 2:30 a.m., it is pitch black, there are no streetlights and one black man shot another black man but it was not Mr. Herman."

Herman faces charges of first-degree murder and reckless endangerment in the shooting death of Jerome Timmons. The shooting occurred on Glass Street at the Palace nightclub on July 4, 2010.

Prosecution witness Kosha Cosey, 31, testified Tuesday that she and a friend saw fights break out after the club closed, then saw a man she later identified as Herman draw a pistol from his waistband, chase Timmons, shoot him in the head, then flee.

Timmons was taken to Erlanger hospital in critical condition and later died.

After the shooting, Cosey and Darlene Battle followed Herman in their car and called 911. Herman was arrested near Tarpon Trail.

Hamilton County Assistant District Attorneys Bret Alexander and Charlie Minor played the 911 recording Tuesday and questioned the officers who captured Herman.

Moore said in her opening statements that, even though there were nearly 100 witnesses on the scene, police questioned only one man and didn't record his statement.

She also said police lost recorded statements from Cosey and Battle.

The trial resumes today before Judge Rebecca Stern.

about Todd South...

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 ...

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