A Baltimore County jury is deliberating the fate of a man accused of first-degree murder for shooting a 19-year-old man in Randallstown in March 2011.
The jury began deliberations after a lunch break at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, following closing arguments.
Prosecutors say Sterling Lewis of Randallstown fired three shots at Willie Jackson during a botched drug robbery in the 4000 block of Winlee Road on March 28, 2011.
On Wednesday, former drug dealer Everald Thomas testified that he and Jackson went to the location for a drug deal. He testifed that two masked men—allegedly Lewis and accomplice Reginald Frederick (who was convicted of first-degree murder in July)—entered his car and, when Thomas exited to stall and call a friend to bring a quarter-pound to half-pound of marijuana to the location, Lewis got out and pointed a gun at him.
Thomas said he and Lewis had been friends.
In his closing argument, defense attorney Warren Brown cautioned the jury about believing Thomas' testimony because as a drug dealer, he had "given up" his right to be believed.
"It comes down to TJ [Thomas' nickname], and it's a shame that it comes down to TJ," Brown said, noting that Thomas denied knowing the perpetrators and misled investigators in his first statements to police.
Prosecutor Joe Dominick countered that forensic evidence supported Thomas' testimony and that Thomas, after reflection the day after the shooting, decided to tell police the truth.
"I don't think that makes TJ a liar," Dominick told the jury. "I think that makes him human."
Judge John J. Nagle III ordered the jury to reconvene at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.