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Murder Trial Continues In Shooting Death of Broward Teen

CBS 4 reports that the trial of a 19-year old accused of shooting a 16-year old Boyd Anderson High School student in during a robbery two years ago will resume today.

The Defendant is charged with first-degree murder, along with many other serious felony charges.

Allegedly, during the early morning hours of April 3, 2009, Greg Smith, 16, and several of his friends were standing around outside the high after attending a talent show.  They were waiting for their ride home.  A car pulled up.  Several individuals got out of that car, one of whom was the Defendant, who reportedly robbed the alleged victim and his friends at gunpoint.

According to police and prosecutors, the Defendant fired the single shot which killed the 16-year old.

Broward Sheriff's detectives who investigated the shooting said that the Defendant shot Smith because he wanted to increase his street credibility. They said he looked up to Terrance James, who was present during the robbery and who has a history of criminal activity including attempted murder

The Defendant, in their opinion, wanted to be like Terrance James.

The prosecution had some problems on Tuesday when none of the witnesses said they could identify any of the 'robbers' or 'shooter'.  In a jury trial, the State must prove that the accused is the person who committed the crime that he or she is charged with. This includes having witnesses and alleged victims identify the accused in open court.

If State witnesses are unable to identify the accused, the chances of a not guilty verdict increase as the jury may not be convinced that the accused is the person who committed the charged offense.

While State witnesses may not have been able to identify the Defendant as the shooter, prosecutors hope things will go better on Wednesday when they put the other teens accused of being with the Defendant on the night of the robbery on the stand.

One of them will be Terrance James.

James, who admitted he was the driver that night, pled no contest and agreed to testify against the Defendant. Prosecutors say he will spend 25 years in prison if he testifies truthfully about the events of the night of the shooting.

When co-defendants cut deals with the State in exchange for favorable testimony, such is a strong point of contention with us criminal defense lawyers.  This Terrance James fellow doesn't strike me as an upstanding citizen.  It is possible that he is willing to blame the Defendant in order to get a better deal for himself.  That fact calls his credibility into question.

Trial is expected to last throughout the week.

Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward.  He has tried several cases during his career as a prosecutor and criminal attorney, including murder.  Call today to discuss your case.