“He was wearing a beige jacket that was no longer beige. It was covered in blood,” Lakin told a jury Friday.
Her husband’s shooter, James Herard, would shoot three more people before the 2008 robbery and bloody shooting spree was over. On Friday, nearly four years later, Lakin and her husband testified against Tharod Bell and Calvin Weatherspoon, who never held or fired a weapon in the robbery but are nonetheless facing attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery charges.
The trial against the men began Friday after prosecutors and their attorneys had spent four days picking two separate juries who will hear much of the same evidence but deliberate the charges against the two men separately.
Tharod’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Aaron Clemens, and Weatherspoon’s attorney, Elizabeth Gardner, told jurors in their opening statements Friday that neither Bell nor Weatherspoon thought Herard would start shooting.
Clemens decribed Herard as evil, promising jurors that they would hear his client’s tearful interview with detectives after the shooting proving Herard’s actions both surprised and devastated him.
Gardner read excerpts from a statement Weatherspoon gave to investigatiors saying he thought he was merely participating in a robbery and was shocked when Herard started shooting.
“I was like, what the [expletive] are you doing, and he just laughed,” Gardner quoted Weatherspoon as saying about Herard.
But prosecutors Cheryl Caracuzzo and Jill Richstone said both men knew Herard had intended to shoot the shop patrons in order to get a leg up in a sick competition among Crips gang members to see who could rack up the most murders.
“The intent was crystal clear,” Richstone said. “They knew was going ot happen, they wanted it to happen - and it did happen.”
The trial is expected to last through next week. Both Bell and Weatherspoon could receive life in prison if convicted.
Herard received nine life sentences for being the triggerman in the case and laughed at the Lakins and the other victims during his sentencing last year. Another man who participated in the robbery, Charles Faustin, was also sentenced to life for his role in the robbery.
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