Trial continues for man accused of killing best friend

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  A trial is underway for a man charged in an alleged drug deal turned murder at a North Columbus apartment complex.

Carlos Brown, Clarence Mahone and Kubiat Ekperikpe are all charged with the murder of 24-year-old Maurice Hollis.

Hollis was shot in the head and killed at the Main Street Apartments off Whittlesey Boulevard back in July of 2009. But according to police, Hollis was originally part of a planned armed robbery that turned out to be deadly attempt.

Columbus investigators say it all started when Brown, Ekperikpe and Hollis, the deceased, planned to meet up with Clarence Mahone to rob him of money and marijuana.

But things went wrong, and police say Mahone, the initial target of the robbery, was also armed and ended up shooting and killing Hollis.

As for Carlos Brown, his trial started Monday in Superior Court at the Government Center.

Brown's attorney, Michael Garner, tells WTVM his client was in the car when the deadly shooting happened. It's Brown's defense that Hollis and Ekperikpe went to make the drug deal and that's all he knows. Garner says that's the same thing he told detectives after the murder in a video taped statement which he says will be presented during the trial.

The victim's older brother, Mike, took the stand Tuesday and told the jury he got a call from Carlos Brown revealing what happened. He says Brown told him he only agreed to drive, not take part in the robbery and that he was sorry.

A forensic pathologist testified Hollis body had wounds consistent with being dragged and police say he was dragged back to the getaway car and taken to the hospital.

The trial continues Wednesday morning at the Government Center downtown.

Clarence Mahone, the alleged shooter in the case, is set to stand trial next week.

The trial for the third defendant, Kubiat Ekperikpe will follow.

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