CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Prosecutors rested Friday afternoon in Ellis Royster’s murder trial. The Charlotte man is accused of killing 2-year-old Amias Robinson with a stray bullet in Aug. 2010.
"I was turning on the corner on Eastbrook and heard some shots fired and kept going," said Jadarius McCall, who was allegedly Royster’s target.
McCall testified that he stiffed a friend of Royster’s on a $10 drug deal. He told jurors that as he drove by Royster’s home, shots rang out.
One of the bullets hit Amias in the neck as he was being pushed in a stroller on Eastbrook. The toddler may have been asleep at the time.
"The child suffered from quadriplegia. The medical record indicated he was in a state of shock, and that state of shock resulted in secondary injuries to two organs," said Dr. Michael Sullivan, the medical examiner.
A ballistics expert testified that all 11 shots fired that night came from the same gun, but that firearm was never recovered.
"We looked around the house that night and didn't see the gun. We had no idea where the gun went," said Dave Abbott, the lead homicide investigator on the case.
That’s one of the reasons why the testimony of Shariff Baker was so important; he was the only eyewitness.
The problem for prosecutors is that he initially fingered Royster, then flipped to Alvin Alexander, then went back to Royster.
Abbott tried to explain it.
"He said that he had told the truth, but detectives had pressured him, and he was worried he was going to be arrested. So he told them what, he believed, they wanted to hear at the time."
Alexander was arrested, but charges were later dropped. On Tuesday, the defense will get its turn. Several witnesses will be called and attorneys left the door open for Royster to take the stand.