GBI investigator, gang expert testify in 4th Quarter Sports Bar murder trial

GBI investigator, gang expert testify in 4th Quarter Sports Bar murder trial
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - More testimony is underway in the trial of three men accused of murder at the 4th Quarter Sports Bar in Columbus.

Prosecutors are moving away from witness testimony, to what they describe as hard evidence.

A GBI investigator, Catherine Jordan, testified that seven cartridge cases found at the crime scene seem to match the gun believed to have been used to kill Dominic Mitchell.

She was called to provide expert testimony on firearm analysis and examination of the crime scene. Jordan says based on the investigation, 5 individual firearms were believed to be used at the 4th Quarter bar and Grill the night of the shooting.

"The pattern on bullet number one matches the pattern on bullet number two. I can say they have been fired by the same gun. I do this [examination] for each of the test fires, and I did three test fires. Then I compared it to the evidence. I found that the pattern for individual characteristics on exhibit 16 [bullet] was the same pattern I found on the test fires from state exhibit 17 [firearm]," said Jordan.

The defense says there is a number issue regarding a number of shell casings admitted for evidence. The AR-15 assault rifle recovered at the scene was reportedly not turned in for investigation by the Columbus police Department.

A 'gang expert' also testified that gang culture is based on violence and that respect comes from using violence.

Aubrey Lyda who works with the Cobb County District Attorneys office as a gang investigator said during testimony that, 'In his opinion," The Outcast motorcycle club is a criminal street gang.

Lyda defined the Outcasts as a one percent motorcycle gang. One percent defined as being violent in nature, while the other 99 percent is benign.

According to Lyda, the Outcasts is the dominant motorcycle club in Muscogee County. During testimony, he says, if another biker group, like the "Strikers" would come into the same area,  they would need to grant permission.

Violence can be expected if this protocol is not followed.

"It would have caused shame for that group, and show they don't have power. And it would decrease their status, among their peers and in the biker culture," said Lyda.

The Defense has kept the steady argument that not all biker clubs are violent.

The attorney for Daginald Wheeler, Stacey Jackson, argued that none of the defendants have a prior history of crime.

Throughout the day, and during Aubrey Lyda's testimony, defense attorneys also had numerous motions to not tender witness as an "expert."

This was reportedly Lyda's first trial regarding motorcycle gangs. The judge overruled this motion.

The trial is set to resume Thursday morning at 9.

Daginald Wheeler, Demark Ponder, and James Daniel are accused of killing Mitchell at the bar 18-months ago.

Follow News Leader 9's Sharifa Jackson for live updates of this trial.

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