Jury deliberates in 2016 Peachtree Mall murder trial

(Source: WTVM File)
(Source: WTVM File)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - After a week and a half of trial, a verdict is set to be made in the Peachtree Mall murder trial.

The three defendants are charged with killing 24-year old Anthony Meredith at the mall Easter weekend of last year.

Jurors heard closing arguments from both sides Thursday morning.

The State spent the day giving their closing arguments, arguing that the jurors would have to believe a series of "ridiculous" stories in order to acquit the three of the charges.

Lead Prosecutor, Alonza Whitaker saying each defendant had a role in what he calls an "execution caught on camera."

"She [Tekoa Young] is the shooter. Her brother may have pointed the gun, but she's the reason the trigger was pulled. Because this was a retaliation for the death of her baby daddy. She pulled the trigger," said Whitaker during his closing arguments.

Defense attorneys, however, say the prosecution failed to prove any hard evidence in the case. The defense using their last opportunity to present their case to the jurors.

"Nobody can identify Mr. McFarland having being involved in this. The State's counting on your fear of that 4 letter word [gang] to keep you from remembering that there is no evidence of Mr. McFarland doing anything to plan this. What have they shown you? There are some phone calls between people. Are we at the point now where we convict people cause who they call and talk to over the phone?" said Defense attorney for Terell McFarland, Nancy Miller during her closing argument.

The attorney for Xzavaien Jones, the man accused of firing the deadly shots, is standing by the theory that this case is about mistaken identity.

"This case is about mistaken identity. Pure and simple. Nothing more, and nothing less," said Tim Flournoy.

Other than opening statements, this was the first time the defense team had an opportunity to present its case to the jury. The defense resting their case without calling a single witness.

The three suspects, Xzavaien Jones, his sister, Tekoa Young, and Terell McFarland all face charges of murder, aggravated assault, and violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act.

Jones also faces a charge of possession of a weapon during felony violation.

After charging the jury, the judge sent the jurors home for the day.

Deliberations are set to begin Thursday morning at 9.

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