Jamaul Herman awaits verdict in Chattanooga murder trial

Jamaul Herman awaits verdict in Chattanooga murder trial

February 8th, 2012 by Todd South in News

Jamaul Herman looks behind him into the audience as his attorney gives a closing argument during his trial for the alleged shooting death of Jerome Timmons on July 4, 2010, while in Judge Rebecca Stern's courtroom late Tuesday morning.

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.

A jury will reconvene this morning to continue deliberating the fate of a 29-year-old man charged with murder.

Today is the fifth day of trial for Jamaul Herman, who was arrested in the July 4, 2010, shooting death of Jerome Timmons, 31, outside The Palace nightclub at 2400 Glass St.

In Hamilton County Criminal Court, attorneys finished closing arguments Tuesday morning, a week after the trial began. Jurors returned Tuesday after not meeting Monday because of a busy court docket in Judge Rebecca Stern's courtroom.

Throughout the trial, Herman's attorneys, Mary Sullivan Moore and Luke Neder, have attacked police investigation methods.

"The police never provided a lineup to any of the witnesses they spoke to that night," Moore said in closing arguments. "The police never once followed up with any of the 911 calls indicating anyone other than Mr. Herman."

But Assistant District Attorneys Bret Alexander and Charlie Minor told the jury that defense tactics were simply an effort to distract them from the core of the case.

"The defendant chased down Mr. Timmons across Glass Street and, as Mr. Timmons fled, he shot him in the back of his head," Alexander said. "The defense has wanted to talk a lot about a lot of things that are not related to that."

Before closing arguments, Moore and Neder called two witnesses -- friends or acquaintances of Herman's -- who said he did not have a weapon inside the club the night of the shooting.

The defense attorneys alluded to the witnesses' testimony in an attempt to show a timeline in which it was difficult or impossible for Herman to obtain a weapon before Timmons was killed.

Herman and at least two other witnesses said Timmons and up to 10 other men beat Herman with brass knuckles and a baseball bat shortly after he walked out of the club that night.

Earlier in the trial, three witnesses testified that they saw Herman, who was standing beneath a streetlight, draw a handgun and shoot Timmons.