Murder trial continues

Published 3:00 am Friday, November 16, 2018

The jury has begun deliberating on whether to convict Jacory Townsend, 25, of Brundidge, with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Xavier Thomas, also of Brundidge.

The prosecution asserts that Townsend fired multiple shots at Thomas while Thomas and his friend Bernard Still sat in Thomas’ parked car at Walding Circle on the night of May 26, 2017.

The defense countered that there is only questionable witness testimony placing Jacory Townsend at the scene of the crime and pulling the trigger.

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In the first day of the trial Wednesday, defense attorney Sherri Mazur said that the charging of Jacory Townsend was a cover for other people involved in the crime.

Brundidge police officers testified Wednesday to give details about how they processed the crime scene, and Still took the witness stand to describe his version of events as the other occupant of the vehicle. 

Testimony began Thursday with the examination of Cynthia Jackson, who claims to have witnessed the shooting from her front porch at one of the nearby apartment units at Walding Circle.

Jackson described seeing a car that she believed to be dark green with tinted windows pull up next to Thomas’ orange Chevrolet Cavalier and that Townsend exited the vehicle and began firing shots toward the passenger side of the car.

Mazur questioned whether Jackson ever saw Townsend’s face during the incident.

“You told Sgt. Beasley that you never saw the shooter’s face,” Mazur said. “You told Sgt. Beasley all you could identify was the ‘body structure’ and way he was built.”

Jackson said she was able to see Jacory Townsend’s face when the interior light of the suspect’s vehicle came on, but Mazur said that Jackson’s original testimony was that the light revealed the face of Demarcus Flowers, the alleged driver of the car.

The jury also heard from Marcus Walker, brother of Bernard Still, who testified that he found Thomas slumped over the steering wheel in the parking lot and carried him in his arms as someone else drove them to Troy Regional Medical Center, where Thomas was declared dead.

Stephen Boudreau, medical examiner with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, testified that seven bullets penetrated Thomas’ extremities and two more grazed him, resulting in shock and massive blood loss.

One bullet, Boudreau said, shattered Thomas’ femur and caused major hemorrhaging.

The jury began deliberating at approximately 4:45 p.m. Thursday and decided after approximately two hours of discussion to break and reconvene Friday morning to come to a verdict.

The jury will reconvene at 9 a.m. and the verdict will be read in Courtroom A when the jury has decided the verdict.

Townsend is being charged with both first-degree murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle. First-degree murder is a Class A Felony punishable by 20 years to life in prison and shooting into an occupied vehicle is a Class C Felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison.

Judge Tom Head is presiding over the court proceedings.