A former drug dealer testified Wednesday that something "didn't smell right" when he got a call about a marijuana deal in March 2011.
Everald Thomas and a friend, Willie Jackson, drove to Nemo Road in Randallstown where two men—one wearing a ski mask, the other wearing a bandana—entered the car, ostensibly to consummate the drug deal.
Thomas stepped out to stall and consider calling a friend to bring the marijuana over. But soon one of the men—whose voice he recognized—exited the car and pointed a gun at him.
Thomas testified as the first witness called Wednesday in the murder trial of Sterling Lewis, the man charged with first-degree murder in Jackson's death.
Lewis is also charged with attempted robbery, attempted armed robbery, first-degree assault and a handgun violation in the . His trial began Tuesday in Baltimore County Circuit Court.
An accomplice, Reginald Frederick of the 3900 block of Nemo Road, was found guilty in July of first-degree murder, attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. He faces sentencing on Oct. 24.
Prosecutors called all their witnesses Wednesday, including Thomas, two police officers, a homicide detective and a crime lab technician.
Thomas testified that on that March evening, when the man he identified as Lewis pointed a gun at him, Jackson got out of the car, then Lewis' alleged accomplice—identified as Frederick—exited the car as well and the two scuffled. Thomas then joined that fight. He testified that Lewis then fired multiple shots from several feet away. Thomas blacked out. When he came to, he said, Lewis and Frederick were fleeing and his friend was bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head just off the curb.
In cross-examination, defense attorney Warren A. Brown charged that Thomas was not truthful in his early interviews with police. Thomas responded that he misled police about the drug deal and omitted what he knew about the suspects in an effort to avoid "snitching."
"A lot was going through my mind," he said. "I was scared, I was upset, I was angry."
Evidence introduced Wednesday included photos and shell casings from the scene, as well as a semi-automatic handgun and magazine found in a backpack in Lewis' home. A police forensics expert testified Wednesday afternoon that three shell casings found at the scene were consistent with the handgun found by police.
The case will resume at 10:30 a.m. Thursday with closing arguments.