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Stephen Mobley is no stranger to the defense table.

Mobley, 31, was convicted on a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter in 2005 for the College Hill Courts death of Elton Deandra Hall, 20. He served six years for that charge.

Now he stands trial in Hamilton County Criminal Court in the 2012 shooting death of Gregory Watkins. Mobley is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a dangerous offense.

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Stephen Mobley

During the first day of trial testimony Tuesday, Lashonda Gonzalez sobbed as she recounted Watkins' killing at a Brainerd Road Conoco station. Gonzalez said she saw a Pontiac pull up near the car where she and Watkins were parked, and that a person she didn't recognize got out.

"Before I could get out, before I could finish saying who was that, the shots were fired," said Gonzalez, who was also struck by the bullets.

She broke down while watching grainy surveillance video of the gas station that night, becoming so emotional that Judge Barry Steelman called a recess so she could compose herself.

Constance Taylor, a lifelong friend of Mobley's, testified at a 2013 hearing that she went to meet Watkins that night in 2012 to exchange some poor-quality marijuana he had sold her. Mobley rode along with her to the Brainerd Road gas station where they were to meet, and shot Watkins when they arrived, Taylor testified.

She also testified at that hearing that Mobley was wearing a Rastafarian-style wig during the incident. Gonzalez had testified at a prior hearing that the man she saw shoot Watkins was very dark-skinned, was wearing a black hat and had dreadlocks.

Gonzalez initially identified another man, Stephen Hill, as the shooter. He had dreadlocks at the time and is darker skinned than Mobley. Hill was cleared of charges because of a lack of proof.

During Tuesday's hearing, the jury also heard from a first-responder and major crimes investigators assigned to Watkins' case. Nine shots were fired into his car.

Jurors can't know about Mobley's prior conviction.

The trial is expected to resume this afternoon.

Contact staff writer Claire Wiseman at cwiseman@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347. Follow her on Twitter @clairelwiseman.

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