Evidence phase complete in Peachtree Mall murder trial

(Source: WTVM)
(Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The evidence phase of the Peachtree mall murder trial wraps up Tuesday as prosecutors continue building their case against three suspected gang members.

In final testimony and arguments, the state is trying to tie the three defendants, Xzavaien Jones, who is accused of firing the deadly shots, his sister, Tekoa Young, and Terell McFarland movements together through communication.

More expert testimony was given by detectives with the Columbus Police Department.

The state bringing in Detective Sandra Hickey, a computer analyst from the Columbus Police Department, to share expert knowledge on cell phone extraction, and other data.

Detective Hickey saying all three defendants phones are consistent with locations of and surrounding Peachtree Mall during the time of the murder. Each placing between 8 and 10 calls with each other before and after the time of the shooting.

Also among extracted evidence was a single text message sent by defendant Tekoa Young to both McFarland and Jones which said: "Y'all good?"

Defense Attorney William Kendrick still denouncing the claims that his client Tekoa Young had any role in the deadly shooting and that there is sufficient evidence pointing towards his client.

"This is where the state is falling short, your honor, they can't tell you an act, there's been no evidence come in saying that she did an act, that she helped this thing happen. All the evidence has been is show that she was merely present," said Kendrick.

Prosecutors say the act is Tekoa Young allegedly waiting around at the mall, walking towards the mall, and running away, and lying to police about ever being on the scene.

"Then they walk towards the mall, them after the shooting they are all running away together, that is way stronger evidence than a call log, a missed call, or outgoing call. That is a direct and visual representation," said Prosecutor Pete Temesgen.

Defense Attorney William Kendrick says the jury cannot possibly return a verdict on his client, Tekoa Young, asking the judge to return the verdict.

A motion that was denied by Judge Frank Jordan saying that he believes the jury can return a verdict beyond a reasonable doubt on all counts.

All three defendants, Xzavaien Jones, Tekoa Young, and Terell McFarland denied opportunity to testify on their behalf.

Prosecutors, as well as the defense, decided to rest their case. The defense not having any witnesses testify on their behalf.

On Wednesday morning, Xzavien Jones, Tekoa Young, and Terell McFarland will return to the courtroom. Closing arguments are set to begin.

Click here to follow News Leader 9's Sharifa Jackson for live updates.

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